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Spring 2012
Vol. 56, Number 1
Grab bag
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Student exchanges closer to home

Student exchanges closer to home

You probably know that many U.S. colleges and universities have programs for study overseas. But you might not know that some U.S. schools have student exchanges with other colleges and universities in the United States, in some U.S. territories, and in Canada.

The National Student Exchange enables students in nearly 200 participating schools to attend classes on another campus for a semester or a year. The program, modeled after international student exchanges, encourages undergraduates to broaden their perspectives while maintaining proximity. Participating schools are located in the United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Applicants may choose a school based on its course offerings, the ethnicity of its student population, or the appeal of its geographic location, among other options.

Exchange students either pay in-state tuition and fees to the host campus or pay usual tuition and fees to their home campus. Other obligations, such as meeting course prerequisites and arranging housing, also are the student's responsibility. Applicants must demonstrate language proficiency to attend campuses in Quebec (French) or Puerto Rico (Spanish); students whose first language is not English must be proficient in English to attend all other campuses.

Eligibility requirements include full-time enrollment in a participating college or university, a minimum 2.5 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale), and no pending probationary or disciplinary actions. For more information, write to the National Student Exchange central office, 4656 West Jefferson Boulevard, Suite 140, Fort Wayne, IN 46804; email or; or visit

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DOL launches social network jobs partnership

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is leveraging the social Web to help jobseekers find employment.

DOL has teamed with the social networking website Facebook and several organizations that provide employment resources—including the Direct Employers Association, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies—to create the Social Jobs Partnership on Facebook.

The page highlights available training programs, educational opportunities, and other employment resources for both jobseekers and employers. Examples include an article on how to use social media in the job search, a video clip featuring tips from an employment recruiter, and links to information for veterans on reemployment. Visitors to the page are encouraged to share stories about how the partnership has helped their job search.

Join the many Facebook users who already "like" the age. Visit

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BLS Beta Labs: Project previews

BLS Beta Labs: Project previews

The BLS Beta Labs give the public an online sneak peek at upcoming BLS projects—and asks for reviewer feedback.

In the Beta Labs, BLS staff describe a proposed feature, show prototypes, and receive comments and ratings from site visitors. This feedback can help to improve the project before it becomes a BLS product.

Since its inception in 2010, BLS Beta Labs has presented the following projects for review:

  • Enhanced website search
  • Mobile service
  • Subscription changes
  • The redesigned Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)
  • The redesigned Consumer Price Index news release tables
  • State and county map application from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
  • Better access to geographic data

Most projects in development appear online for about 60 days, as they move through the production process. More complicated projects, such as the redesigned OOH site, are featured longer.

To see current BLS Beta Lab projects and provide feedback, visit

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Become an environmental efficiency expert

As the saying goes, "It's not easy being green." But an energy auditor makes it easier for people to learn how to conserve both the environment and their own money.

Energy auditors, also known as energy raters or energy consultants, help clients lower the amount of energy they use. To do this, energy auditors assess clients' energy use in both homes and commercial buildings. These audits usually begin with a thorough review of the client's utility bills, followed by onsite inspections.

During inspections, energy auditors use a variety of tests and tools—including large fans, smoke pens, and infrared cameras—to find spots where air from inside the building leaks outside, and vice versa. Energy auditors complete the audit by suggesting building repairs and tips for reducing energy use.

By helping clients lower their energy use, these auditors assist in reducing the hazardous byproducts produced by most energy sources. Decreasing these byproducts benefits the environment, but clients also benefit with a different type of "green"—cash. Because building owners pay for any energy used in the building, saving energy means saving money.

For more information about energy auditors, contact the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Green Jobs program at or read online at

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: March 17, 2012