Vital Source Archives
The Process of LIFE
By Dave Jennings, Student Publisher
As I sit here trying to finish this Publisher News after taking my last final of the Spring 2014 quarter there are lots of thoughts running through my weary, exhausted body. I recently read an opinion piece from Time magazine by Miriam Weeks, a Duke University student, about the high cost of education. Universities across the country are developing large construction projects trying to one-up the next university in a competition for student dollars which, for the most part, are financed through government loans. The ever looming debt crisis coming from outstanding student loans could make the mortgage crisis look like a blip on the screen. Students borrow upwards of $200,000 to complete their chiropractic education. After Let’s Talk I checked with a friend in dental school who confirmed they typically borrow $300,000-$350,000 for their four year program. I have fully accepted the fact I will leave Life University with the debt load of a single family home before actually buying a single family home; but I also know if I get a real business education outside of the program, make a plan and follow it, while serving from my heart, I have every opportunity to have a successful practice which will provide abundantly for my family. So no more pity parties from me about how expensive Life University is; but these are my random thoughts, since my brain is goo, what are your thoughts? Take a couple minutes to read the paper through and drop us some feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know what we can do to make the Vital Source the best it can be for the students. Also check out our advertisers. Some local for now (REV, Life Grocery & Finer Consignments) and some national for later (BioFreeze, ChiroSecure and ChiroFutures).
Earlier this year a marriage discount was put into place most likely to keep up with your friends up north. Instead of following others why don’t we become the leaders we so often speak about. How about making BrightLife into an affordable daycare options for students, staff and faculty? Get the ICPA involved, do a little research and stop using outside contractors to run programs. I cannot imagine there aren’t several spouses in the program who would rock out a daycare program we could all be proud of while still breaking even. I am not a fan of the marriage discount as we all have the same earning potential but I am fine with affordable daycare so kids are close. What do you think about offering affordable daycare?
Bravo to Life University for being on the forefront of testing and partnering with NBCE to pilot a boards testing center. Testing throughout the year surely will take some of the stress off of the process and who truly wants to be shoved into the cattle car for one of the most important hurdles of your future. Are you taking part in the pilot program?
The new curriculum is right around the corner starting in January 2015. It will be interesting to see how the changes unfold with the old guard being placed into new patterns of thought and presentation. What would you like to see change in the curriculum to benefit future students?
Life University is going global with PEAK doctors on 4 continents and allegiances with Costa Rica, China and Italy it looks like there will be even more international flair on campus other than students from 38 countries currently attending. Where do you want to practice?
Take time to look at our going Back in Time feature. Enter the guess who they are contest to win a copy of Garrett Gunderson’s Killing Sacred Cows.
Rumor has it we might get some concerts at Lyceum Park starting this Fall. Keep an ear out and take part in the fun. It is amazing how much the campus has changed under Dr. Riekeman. When you see old pictures it is quite a transformation from warehouse parking to the beautiful campus we have now. We will throw up some pictures from old yearbooks.
Who is enjoying the Food Trucks? The sweet potato fries with the dry BBQ rub from The Blaxican truck are incredible. What has been your favorite truck so far?
Get some freshly roasted REV coffee beans from the Summer 2015 class or use the coupon to get a fresh cup.
I hope everyone had a wonderful summer break and I can’t wait to hear the stories of your summer adventures.
Adjusting the Boards
Life Pioneers Computerized Testing
By Will Renfrow, DC Student
First time Part 1 boards candidates testing this September are being offered the option to throw their number two pencils in the bushes long before the test even begins. Life University and the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) are teaming up to change the face of national boards testing by transitioning traditional paper testing to a computer format. This is great news for students left cross-eyed by traditional scantron forms. Dr. Gerry Clum presented critical information for interested students at the last assembly of the spring quarter.
Life recently completed construction of a computerized testing center, reportedly costing $500,000. Theoretically, computerized testing will make taking national chiropractic board exams more convenient and timely for students. The top notch testing center is currently stocked with 72 computers and an area for special accommodations testing. This fall, Life University, in conjunction with the NBCE, will conduct a “transitional study” to determine the effectiveness of this approach. Students who are eligible and interested in participating in the transitional study toured the testing center to check out accommodations at an open house on June 2, 4, and 6. Students who committed to participate were able to register in person and finalize all paperwork to save time and money.
Dr. Clum worked with the NBCE and described this initial trial as a transitional study period to validate computerized testing as equally comparable in strength and effectiveness to the traditional paper and pencil testing. The study relies on voluntary commitment by students. Students planning to take the board exams in September are not required to participate and can opt to fill in the 660 tiny bubbles with the fashionable NBCE mechanical pencil.
Students volunteering to participate in the computerized testing and the transitional study will be divided into two separate study groups. One group will test using the new format and one group will test in the traditional manner. Participants will be randomly assigned to a specific testing group. “This is the most important transition in the history of the national boards…test questions in the new format are the most analyzed questions in 20 years…you will have the best possible chance of the fairest possible testing because of scrutiny,” stated Dr. Clum.
Not all Life students are eager to jump on the computerized testing bandwagon. Seventh quarter student Carolina Bulla explains her rationale, “I’m not taking it on the computer because there are many advantages to paper testing that allow me to kill an exam. You can highlight and underline keywords and even write an answer before reading the multiple choice options. This trick has allowed me to do really well in detailed classes like anatomy.”
Other students are not completely against the idea of computerized testing. Eighth quarter student Jessica Quintero-Villa said about the computerized format, “I like the option of looking at all of the questions in front of me and that may help me with answering other questions whereas the computer supposedly only shows one question at a time.”
Many students, including those not taking boards in September, realize the inevitability of the change and the necessity of adaptation to continue moving forward. Fifth quarter student Daniel Continenza offered the following when asked about his preference in testing formats, “I prefer pencil and paper because of the ease with which one can flip back and forth between questions, the sense of relative ease on the eyes (and nervous system), and the deeper level of cognitive connection and recall ability I feel in association with information on print as opposed to electronic media. At the same time, in the spirit of progress, evolution, and autonomy, I am in favor of the shift to personalized testing moreso than I am opposed to the change to computers…and so in favor of the motion as a whole.”
According to Life President Dr. Guy Riekeman, testing flexibility for students will be much greater after initial trials are completed in September. Students can look forward to taking board tests immediately upon completion of requirements instead of having to wait extended periods for the next available test date.
A Simple Choice
By Zach Thomas, DC Student
My journey to Life was somewhat simple. I made the decision to apply for school in March of 2013. That June, I received my acceptance letter from Life and I was on my way. I never came to a LIFE Leadership Weekend, never visited the campus, and never looked at any other schools. I arrived at LIFE for the first time at New Student Orientation in the fall. When I got here, I had no idea what to expect, even less about what Chiropractic truly was. All I brought was a desire to learn and a passion to help people. Student LIFEforce helped me to go from a student just going to class to an “on fire” student who is ready and willing to give back to a school and profession that has done so much in so little time for me.
I attended my first Student LIFEforce meeting after the last LIFE Vision Seminar in January. Not only was this the first one I attended, it was actually my first chiropractic seminar ever. The atmosphere in the building was off the chart! Walking in that room, I could feel the energy and realized there was something special going on that weekend. From the first speaker to the last word of the seminar, I was truly ignited about chiropractic for the first time. I knew I wanted to be a part of something like that so I immediately found Rachael Boyd, Student LIFEforce advisor, after the seminar, and asked how I could be a part of Student LIFEforce. She told me all I had to do was come to the next meeting. Things really took off from there.
The following week, I attended my first Student LIFEforce meeting not knowing really what was going to happen or what the group really did. I had heard about Student LIFEforce and the LIFEforce 1000 doctors through a couple friends who were already a part of the club and ALWAYS had great things to say. The first meeting was like any other club when you attend for the first time. Sign in, put down your email, and wait to see what is going to happen. I soon learned what the club was all about. As a member of Student LIFEforce, we don’t just help set up and tear down LIFE Vision Seminars. We are more than assistants with LIFE Leadership Weekends, LIFEforce 1000 weekends, and Life University volunteers. Most people might be thinking “Why would I want to do that?” It is really a question of “why not?” If you want to be around students and DCs who share a common goal of loving and sharing chiropractic with the masses, then Student LIFEforce is where you need to be.
For me, Student LIFEforce was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. After my first quarter in the DC program, I was still unsure of what chiropractic really was and my role within chiropractic. After going to LIFE Vision for the first time, that hazy, unsure feeling began to remove itself. Every day since I joined Student LIFEforce, my understanding of chiropractic and my role within it has started to become clearer and clearer. While volunteering for the last LIFEforce 1000 and LIFE Leadership Weekend, I had the privilege of meeting and talking to many of the LIFEforce 1000 DC’s and getting to know them professionally and personally. I was recently elected Secretary for Student LIFEforce and found that leading something bigger than myself has helped clear my vision. Although these things are amazing, they still do not match being around students who are going through what you are going through, and share the same passion and fire for chiropractic as you. These relationships have helped me the most.
Student LIFEforce is more than just a club that volunteers at campus events and gets to network with DCs. We are a group who is focused on bringing our student body together as one. No matter if you like Gonstead or Thompson, NSA or CBP, Upper Cervical or Full Spine, we are ALL here for the same thing… CHIROPRACTIC!
Warning! Warning! Warning!
Learn from My Mistake
By Michael Hollerbach, DC Student
I write this article in hopes of saving students time, money and frustration. Consider this my community service message of the quarter. They say knowledge is power and I inadvertently just gained some very expensive power from a situation I ran into. I have been enrolled at this university for more than four years now and I was unaware of a very important financial policy here at this school. Recently, I was enrolled in Pathology I and, due to circumstances not interesting to anyone but me, I decided to drop the class from my schedule this quarter and put in a full effort next quarter. I dropped this class before I even took my first exam. On Tuesday of fourth week I went to the registrar’s office to drop the class. It was there I was informed when I turned in the proper paperwork that I would only be reimbursed 25% of the tuition that I paid for the class, and in addition, there was a $25 fee. Pathology I is a four credit class and we paid $307 per credit hour in the Spring quarter. So every DC four credit class costs $1,228. When I dropped the class I was credited with $282. This class which I dropped cost me $946 for nothing. A complete waste of money!
According to the Academic Quarterly, the Bible of Life University, up until Friday of first week you can drop a class without forfeiting any funds. If you drop a class in the second week of the quarter you are entitled to 90% reimbursement. And, if you drop a class during the third week you forfeit 50% of the tuition you paid. I have very few complaints about this fine institution but this seems a bit steep to me. It is true I should know the rules, especially since I have been here a while, but keeping 75% of our money when we have taken less than 30% of the class? Is the school this desperate to fulfill the 20/20 Vision that they need to take advantage of students’ busy schedules or individual circumstances?
When I learned of this situation, I did a little bit of research and I went asking questions. I started off at the financial aid office. When I asked what the $25 fees are used for and why are they in place, I was referred to Kay Freeland. Kay’s reply to my question was, “The add/drop fees are to recoup administrative costs associated with processing dropped and added courses.”
Really? $25 to push a few buttons on a computer, shift some numbers around add some funds to my account, and remove me from the class roster. $25 really? I wonder how many students drop classes each quarter and how much income is made from this $25 fee, not to mention the amount the school gains from the percentage-based drop forfeiture scale.
Next I approached Mr. Bill Jarr, Vice President of Finance and I asked him, “Why are the percentages so extreme? It appears to me if you drop a class in fifth week you should get 50% of your tuition back and if you drop it three quarters of the way thru you should get 25% back. Why is it not set up on a per usage basis?”
His response was, “The policy for refunds is set out in the Academic Quarterly on page 45. We have not made any changes to the policy since I have been here, ten plus years. I am fairly certain that the add/drop fees are brought up in orientation as well.”
So, when I asked Kay what advice she would give other students so they do not make the same expensive mistake I made she said, “Read the quarterly and ask questions before taking action.”
Great advice Kay! But, like the Bible, that book is huge and few read it cover to cover. Well, moral of the story, there was once a Romanian proverb that said, “Only the foolish learn from experience — the wise learn from the experience of others.”
So call me a fool. Go ahead, I deserve it. But please be wise and learn from my mistake. If my mistake helps anyone, it makes my mistake less costly overall. Thanks for taking the time to read my rant!
From the Media Box
By Penny Aviles, DC Student
The Collegiate Rugby Championship Invitational is a fast paced event where high performance athletes give it their all for 14 min. It starts with 5 pools of 4 teams each and ends with only one big winner. Life performed great at the beginning beating Penn 34-0 on Friday night and kept clear from trys on Saturday too. The first game, Life U against Virginia Tech, I experienced from the Media Box. I tell you, it was an experience of a lifetime. I never imagined reporting a rugby game from a media box in a stadium. Thanks to the Vital Source for sending me and to the kindness of Dr. Gooding (Super League Champion in 2000) who let me miss my Extremity CLET iRAT. I got to see the actual “Behind the Cameras” of a sports championship. Thankfully I was well advised by the Vital Source’s freelance rugby analyst and undergrad student Frank Sutton. Of all the people in that three-walled room, he was the “rugby connoisseur.” Most of the reporters there were as ignorant as I was on the sport. The reason being: rugby is a pretty new sport in the U.S. and has just recently picked up importance on national TV.
Saturday we beat Virginia Tech 19 to Nada! Life U started strong with Blane Mcllroy scoring the first try and Harley Davidson following right after. Within two minutes of the first seven-minute half, Life already had two trys in our favor. The Running Eagles spent the last four minutes of the first half holding their try zone strongly. One ruck after another Virginia Tech could not get past the last five meters needed to score a try (yes, it’s measured in meters not yards). War chants of the Life U fans could be heard all the way across the field from the media box singing: “Where are you go-ing? Nooooo-where.” Life U cleared the field later that Saturday with another victory against Arizona State. Even with a game “analyst” whom earlier recorded the Life-VA Tech game, Arizona Wildcats couldn’t figure a way to score a single try against us. The last try scored by Glen Maricelli gave Life U another 19-0 victory. The excitement to see our ruggers resist till the last second was more than words can tell. There was a huge sense of pride amongst our Lifers.
On Sunday morning Life U played against Navy. Maricelli managed to score two trys along with Harley Davidson (yes I know, I thought the same thing, and even reporters from other schools and magazines asked me “Is that his real name?”). This time the opponent team proved a tough adversary and would not let us go easy. Navy’s star player Johnson “AJ” Alexander scored the try that evened the game 26-26 due to a bad slip of Paris Hollis (hey, poop happens) in the very last minutes of the game. But Hollis recouped his fame by scoring the last try that gave Life the victory 31-26 over Navy with CERO seconds on the clock! Things got real. Paris moved us up to the Semifinals!
Before going any further on this report on the games, I have to describe how awesome it is to be recognized as one of the favorite teams in Philly. Our crowd was the strongest despite Life U being one of the smallest universities to compete in this kind of event. When you see schools like University of Texas, Arizona State, Penn State, UCLA and others with over 30,000 students you certainly can’t expect Life’s fans to compete in terms of cheering power on the stands. I was surprised to find the complete opposite happening. Life U had one of the biggest crowds, with the most coherent colors and cheering aids. When walking around the stadium and exclusive areas, people stopped us to say our team had the best school spirit! Children asked Doc, our mascot, and players like Paris Hollis for autographs and said they used our team T-shirts as pajamas. The advertisements on the CRC programs say, “the NOT SO little university that’s CHANGED THE WORLD”; the Life U commercials streaming on the stadium screens advertising Life as the biggest chiropractic school in the world; and the vendor stand with the word “Chiropractic” in the background, have certainly imprinted chiropractic into people’s minds. Leaving a good impression created high expectations for Life U’s comeback against Cal. When opening the official CRC program magazine, the picture from last year’s championship portrays our very own Paris Hollis running with the ball and right next to him a legend that says, “Life is one of the only teams who could unseat Cal at the CRC, and it wouldn’t be an upset” (Booom! Take that Cal). Even in the media box, I noticed reporters ruling for our team during the matches. We are admired, we are loved, other teams wear our T-shirts, and we were surely the favorites this time around.
Before getting to beat Cal, we had to get through the semifinals game against Kutztown, a local Philly team who improved their performance tremendously since last year. I spent this game as close as possible to the action: running back and forward taking pictures of the players. I wanted to capture the moment of a try, of a ruck, of blood-spit, and of a tackle (it is called a tackle right?). So there I was with my iPhone and a tourist pocket-sized digicam trying to capture images of plays at least 50 meters away. I was rubbing shoulders with professional photographers and their $4,000 USD zoom-in lenses. All the commotion, all the running on the sidelines made it tough to see who was scoring what. I learned to keep some track of the scoring on my cellphone: Paris Hollis, try #1 (1 step closer to finals); Harley Davidson, try#2 (I can smell that late evening bus ride already); Hiko Malu, try #3 (oh man, isn’t he sexy? Just kidding Rocky!). We had a really good team, really good support and still that wasn’t enough to beat the local favorite Kutztown. Right at the final minute Kutztown scored leaving us down 19 to 17. The official CRC website described it as a battle “against a hard fighting Life U who had a strong contingent of fans cheering them on” (usasevenscrc.com). Kutztown moved on to the championship beating everyone’s expectations for a Life U rematch against Cal, the now two-year champion (that’s right, Kutztown couldn’t beat them). Our hearts were sad but our pride remained intact for our Running Eagles were exceptional and it truly was a weekend full of surprises. The rugby sevens proved to be a very challenging sport with many unexpected turnouts which make it even more exciting to watch. So hey, there’s always next year!