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Fall 2011
Vol. 55, Number 3
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Navigating college options

The National Center for Education Statistics collects lots of information about educational institutions. So it should come as no surprise that the Center has an excellent online resource for students who want to learn more about their options for postsecondary education.

This resource, College Navigator, helps students to find out almost anything they want to know about the nation's colleges—all in one place. Students can search for institutions by using broad criteria such as school name, geographic location, and programs and majors. But the tool also allows for more detailed searches, such as for schools offering a rural or urban setting or having a particular religious affiliation.

A search brings up a list of schools (including 2- and 4-year, public and private) that match the selected criteria. Students then select from schools on the list for access to plenty of data, including the number of recent graduates in each program or major, estimates of total tuition costs, and the previous year's number of applicants and rate of admission.

College Navigator offers students a way to focus their postsecondary school search on institutions that match their interests, abilities, and budget. Try the tool online at

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Online tools for jobseekers

Online tools for jobseekers

No need to feel intimidated when searching for career resources online: The U.S. Department of Labor can help make such searches more manageable.

The Labor Department's CareerOneStop has a collection of Web-based tools serving students, jobseekers, employers, and the workforce. CareerOneStop asked organizations to submit online career and job-search tools for public evaluation. The public provided input, and the top-rated sites in six categories were announced last year. These categories, now available on the Tools for America's Job Seekers section of the Career OneStop website, are as follows:

  • General job boards, listing sites that provide nationwide job listings for the public
  • Niche job boards, targeted at specific types of jobseekers (such as older workers)
  • Career planning tools, focusing on individuals who are switching careers, upgrading skills, or entering the workforce
  • Career exploration sites, covering topics such as occupational exploration, occupational assessment, and career coaching
  • Social media job search sites, specializing in job searches or postings that use social media
  • Other tools, including all those that do not fit into other categories; examples are interview preparation tools, training grants, and English as a Second Language online tools.

To check out these top-rated tools, visit

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Design program in athletic footwear

Design program in athletic footwear

Do you have a fashion flair for fitness footwear? Consider designing athletic shoes.

The Fashion Institute of Technology offers the nation's only certificate program in performance athletic footwear design. The program focuses on conceptualizing and sketching shoe designs. The sequence of courses—which cover the ergonomic, anatomical, and material considerations of athletic footwear design— guides the student from drawing rough sketches of concepts to creating a model of a shoe's outer sole.

No previous shoe design experience is required to enroll. However, it's useful to have some experience with sketching and drawing and to have a good grasp of design software applications. The institute also offers courses for students who wish to upgrade their skills before entering the program.

Most courses meet at night for 3 hours per week for about 15 or 16 weeks at the institute's Manhattan campus. Some courses are offered on weekends. The certificate usually takes at least four terms to complete. For more information, write to program advisor Ellen Goldstein at the Fashion Institute of Technology, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, 227 West 27th Street, Building D, New York, New York 10001; email her at; or call her at (212) 217-5402. You may also visit the program's website at

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Smithsonian fellowships and internships: Opportunities abound

The Smithsonian Institution is known for paintings, pandas, and a plethora of other exhibits. Thanks to its vast collections, the Smithsonian is able to offer learning opportunities through more than a thousand fellowships and internships each year.

Fellowships allow students and scholars to pursue academic research. The roughly 400 awards each year include 10-week fellowships with a $6,500 stipend for graduate students and yearlong fellowships for established academics that pay stipends of up to $50,000.

There are about 1,200 internships, which are individually arranged to be structured learning experiences. The internships last from 10 to 12 weeks, with most occurring during some part of a standard academic year. About one-third of the internships offer a stipend, and amounts vary significantly by program. Participants must be at least 16 years old.

Most Smithsonian facilities—art galleries, historical and heritage museums, libraries, and research centers—are located in and around Washington, D.C. So that's where most fellowship and internship opportunities are located, too. But facilities and opportunities also exist in other U.S. cities and in Panama.

The exact number of fellowships and internships awarded each year depends on the program and available funding. Candidates usually apply directly to specific programs, but the Smithsonian's Office of Fellowships and Internships is a central administrator.

For more information, write to the Office of Fellowships and Internships, Smithsonian Institution, 470 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Suite 7102, MRC 902 PO Box 37012, Washington, D.C. 20013; visit online at; email; or call (202) 633-7070.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: September 28, 2011