Online College

Discussion in 'The Locker Room Bar & Grill' started by ballen0351, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Im not sure if this is the right place for this so please fell free to let me know. Ive been thinking alot about getting a degree. With my job, kids, Karate training, coaching kids sports and how my schedule can change at the drop of a hat Im not sure I can fit a brick and mortar school into my schedule. Whats te deal with Online Schools? Are the worth the money? I would prob. look into an established university and take the online version of the classes.
     
  2. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    It depends entirely on what you're looking for.

    Anyone can call themselves a college or university and grant 'degrees'. Many of these are just that; degree or diploma mills. You pay, you get a degree. Are they of any use? I guess it depends on what you want to use it for. They're generally not considered of any use on a resume for a real job; many times people get fired for claiming such degrees; but some people actually are fooled.

    There are also a lot of private colleges that actually teach online (and some in person) that are degree-granting, but not accredited, or they are accredited by associations that don't mean anything. What that generally boils down to is that such degrees may have some value; but the credits you earn are generally not transferable elsewhere. If you don't care about that, then these might be worth looking into.

    There are not many fully-accredited schools online, but they exist. They are not cheap; they don't cost a lot less than a bricks-and-mortar college with your butt in a seat. But you get a 'real' degree, and it means as much as any other 'real' degree.

    http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/

    http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html

    http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg10.html#Distance

    So it really depends on what you want to do. Do you want to take classes and learn something for your own purposes? For your job? Do you need a degree? Does it have to be accredited? Is it for future or current employment or promotion?

    Honestly, online education is kind of like dojos. You got your McUniversities and you got the real deals. The real deals will tell you that their credits will transfer to 'real' state universities and colleges; the fake ones won't tell you that if you ask them. All of them belong to some kind of accreditation agency, but like McDojo's most of them are made up for the purpose of fooling people.

    So you can get your degree just like a black belt. It can be the real thing, or it can look good on your gi (resume) and not be good for much else.

    There is nothing wrong with getting a degree or higher education from a legit school that doesn't meet accreditation standards, per se. If the learning is good, it's good. But it might not give you want you're looking for if you are looking towards having it recognized by employers or going for a higher degree later on.

    Hope this helps. I can give you more specific information if you can be more specific about what you're looking for.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_education_accreditation_in_the_United_States
     
  3. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Did part of my master's at UNM online, and almost all of the course work for my doctorate at Stanford this way. If you go with an established university, it's not a bad way to go. Barring that, there are several online MBA programs at part time/online universities that are reputable. In the end, it depends upon the course work most of all-a BSN, nursing degree, to my mind, requires a bit of hands on work that isn't available in an online program Otherwise, undergraduate coursework can mostly-to my mind-be done this way, not including required lab work. Hell, when I was attending school I wasn't there for most of the lectures, and I did okay.....

    .....oh, and everything Bill Mattocks said, Okay? Let us know what you're considering-I've a little experience advising co-workers and subordinates about this (having done so myself) and might be able to point you in a good direction (though not necessarily the "right" one).
     
  4. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    The prejudice against purely online/distance learning degrees is alive and well. My last employer, a Fortune 50 company, only recruited new graduates from a select list of schools. Furthermore, there was a clear prejudice against certain schools even for positions where some work experience was demanded. Although the requirements only said regionally-accredited schools were acceptable for example, in practice most of the people in my area (consulting) attended prestigious colleges or well known state universities.

    Depending on your area of interest, I would select a school that has a brick and mortar presence and all other things being equal go with the more well-known school.
     
  5. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    You can study with the Open University, it's a prestigious university and is very well thought. A great many people have studied with them here.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_University it is a true university.

    "The Open University is also one of only three United Kingdom higher education institutions to gain accreditation in the United States of America by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education,[SUP][18][/SUP] an institutional accrediting agency, recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation"

    http://www.open-university.co.uk/?&gclid=COyAvdCj_K0CFcx_fAodDV0Jsw
     
  6. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Many of the schools that have popped up with a strong online presence (University of Phoenix, etc.) are not non-profit educational institutions. They are for-profit businesses. Frankly speaking, I was not impressed. I took two classes at a similar school (not online) when I was much younger. Experience was sub-par. The decision wasn't entirely my choice, I botched my own schedule and ended up a few classes shy of what I needed for graduation. I needed a couple extra general academics to finish my Bachelors, and my college did no offer night classes. I took the classes at the local edu-business after receiving confirmation that my school would accept it and .... it really made me kick myself for not being organized enough to take my GenEd classes at my "real" college.

    Going the established university route is the way to go, should you decide. I've been a whisker away from my 2nd Bachelors from UMass Lowell (the best engineering school in the UMass system) and the experience has been positive. There is also nothing in my transcript that shows whether I took the class online or in person. I took my first online class in January 1998....fourteen years and many job interviews later, I have yet to be asked whether I attended online or in-person.

    The downsides...

    If you take an academically rigorous class, from an academically rigorous institution, it will be anything but a walk in the park. Instead of sitting in class for a lecture where you can interact with the teacher, you have to read long lecture volumes on your own, and if you have questions you need to wait for the professor to answer your e-mail. They will answer it in a timely fashion of course, but it won't be instant like it is in class. You'll have to scramble for a lot of information on your own that would normally be given in class.

    Many lectures are more interesting delivered by a live person than they are when they read from a web page.

    College is 50 percent what you know and 50 percent who you know -- or more accurately -- who knows you. That can be painfully missing from online environments. A friend's son took a C programming class at Yale shortly after I took mine at UMass. We compared notes when he finished his class, my final was as difficult as his, if not moreso, and I was held to a very strict grading standard. 95 was an A minus (ouch). So why is Yale known all over the world, and UMass Lowell known only in New England? At Yale you study with the kids of old money. UMass Lowell notsomuch. This parlays to online classes because it can be MUCH harder to network with online classmates. You never meet them in person. You log in to a site created by Blackboard.com, get your assignment and due-date, check message boards. You do get everyone else's e-mail address but an e-mail from a classmate has the tone of stranger-approaching-stranger.

    You may not have quite the collaboration that you do in a classroom. Discussions such as "Hey, I did it this way, may I see how you did yours?" are more difficult to come by and naturally a good student is not going to give away the store to a strange voice online.

    Deadlines are strict. Don't confuse online with leisurely. If your due date is 23:59 on Monday then the professor must receive your assignment by then. Doesn't matter if the power was out or the internet was slow.


    The upsides:

    No commute. And for me that means extra safety -- no commuting in to and out of the 17th most dangerous city in the country according to the FBI Uniform Crime blahblahblah.

    No weather issues. I don't mind snow at all, but I bloody hated to drive to school in it. A long day at work, then fighting through slop to get to school...only to find out that it could be even worse by the time school gets out. Ugh.

    No attendance, No classes to cut. If you put in a steady effort over the week and one of those days you REALLY don't feel like working on schoolwork, it won't affect your attendance record or otherwise affect you negatively. Of course, if you put things off till too late, that's a whole 'nother story ;)

    Its shift-friendly. I used to work 2nd shift, no way I could make the continuing ed classes at night. But I could swing the online program.

    Fantastic professors that are doing, not just teaching. All of my professors had strong academic cred....and all worked full-time doing whatever it was teaching. I learned UNIX shell program from a fellow who was a senior UNIX admin at Raytheon for over 25 years.

    Practical exams. Some classes require proctored exams, meaning you must go in to the university and take your exams in a hall with a proctor that ensures no one has an open book, etc...but this is not overly common. All of my exams were designed to potentially be open-book, open-note -- but what was being asked was not questions that could be found in the book or in my notes. Instead, I was given tasks to demonstrate or create something using the concepts I learned. This made for very interesting and practical challenges.

    Fewer toxic students. While online classes restrict your networking opportunities, they are also a good shield from the attention-whores and the do-nothings. Most of the people in continuing ed really want to be there, and some folks have very powerful reasons for studying. When I took my calculus class some years ago, there was a friendly guy in the group named Mike. Mike was a truck driver. Didn't need math for his job. So why was he taking math, let alone calc? "I want to always be able to help my kids with their math homework." Don't think I'll ever forget that.

    There is so much to learn! Online training can open up access opportunities that may not have been available to you before. I'd wager that you're the type of person with the discipline to sweat out the challenges and make it work. If you can make it back, online or in person, its a great feeling to kick your brain in to learning mode again.

    Good luck, however things work for you :asian:
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  7. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think I will look at some local universities so if there is an issue or problem I can st least go tot he school and talk to a live person. Also if my schedule changes to where I can take live classes in the future I wont have to change schools. I have taken many classes at 4 different local schools from johns hopkins university to local community colleges. I need to just pick one and go with it. Thanks for the input.
     
  8. Gemini

    Gemini Senior Master

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    Even MIT has gotten into the on-line education business, but I only received preliminary information on it and can't say if it's accredited at this point or not. I'm looking at continuing education at Vanderbilt, but as stated earlier, it might be more practical to continue at UNLV which is local and also fully accredited. University of Phoenix is (I believe) one of the pioneers, but is very expensive. The degree is legit though.
     
  9. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Check the accreditations...there are some accreditations that are by far more important than any other and some that are completely worthless, but sound REAL official.

    These are the accreditation to look for

    1) The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
    2) The New England Association of Schools & Colleges.
    3) The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
    4) The Northwest Association Of Schools And Colleges.
    5) The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
    6) The Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

    And you can check to see what each College has here at the US Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs

    Look to Accredited Brick and mortar schools that have distance Education or Online degree programs. However there are a few that are strictly online that are also real live colleges as well. I am working on my MS from a strickly online college that is alsoAccredited, Excelsior College, they also have undergrad degrees as well.
     
  10. MaxiMe

    MaxiMe Brown Belt

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    You may also want to look into the local community college at least for some of the oddball or lower level core classes. The crerdits are usually transferred to the big U's.
    Took all my programming requirements online and it was great (no annoying background conversations while trying to figureout code). "Core" classes math sience, nglish I still had to sit in a seat, but think about a mix of on line and brick/mortar.. It might help with the scheduling thing for you.
     
  11. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Community colleges can be great environments and as a bonus their cost per credit hour more affordable than a 4 year school. They are more widespread than 4 year schools and can be very accommodating for us working folks. However, I'll offer this caveat when considering math or science at a CC:

    Check a larger school, such as the University of YourState, to see HOW the credits are transferred.

    For example, UMass Lowell will accept Calculus transfers from most area CC's, however two semesters at a CC only equals one semester at UMass Lowell. That can work out fine for people that learn calculus better at a slower pace, but it is good to know in advance that the transfer is not apples to apples.

    If considering science or engineering major, taking science at a CC is not recommended as the science classes are typically 3 credit classes, where at a 4 year school they are typically 4 credit -- the difference is the seperate 1 credit labs required for a science or certain engineering degrees. That might not be an issue for (say) CJ degree or an MPA, but it could be an issue should he want to pursue something such as a forensic science.
     
  12. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    If you have a lot of community college credits and lots of credits from various colleges and universities, there is a way to get them all together under one roof. I looked into this years ago when it was called "Regents External Degrees of the University of the State of New York" (what a mouthful!). Now it's just Excelsior College, but it still does the same thing:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excelsior_College

    Check it out, it has nursing programs. They are fully accredited and they DO allow you to transfer a lot of credits, plus they allow challenge credits, life experience, and so on.

    http://www.excelsior.edu/

    They are the real deal; you can continue taking classes at local schools and apply them at Excelsior. Nice if you have credits scattered all over the place.
     
  13. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Depending on what you're after -- your academy certification may provide a lot of credits. There should be someone on the academy staff familiar with the transfer requirements.
     
  14. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah I know they told us when we graduated it we went back to the community college that held the academy and took more classes. They would give us credit for a bunch of stuff almost enough for an AA degree but I dont know if they will give you credit to use somewhere else I plan to head down there next week and talk to someone.
     
  15. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    I have a business degree from Saint Leo University's Online program and I've also taken classes with Utah Valley University's Online program.

    I've also attended brick and mortar classes at a number of schools including three years at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

    I personally will never go back to a brick and mortar school, I love online college, in my opinion it's the way to go if you have limited time and resources. I was able to do my classes on a coast guard cutter in the middle of the ocean. I like Saint Leo the best, the courseload is just as relevent and challenging as anything I did at UT and the class interface is very user friendly.
     
  16. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    I remember once we were in a class chat session and the teacher wondered what the average Iraqi thought about our being over there and fighting and one of the other students said "Hang on let me ask one." A few minutes later he said I don't know it was all in Arabic!

    A lot of servicemembers take online college.
     
  17. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    Like anythng, there are the good and bad. Do due deligence. Something I was looking at when I was looking at doing the same thing was graduation rate of some of thee online schools. Some had really bad completion rates. For instance one had only an %8 completion tate for a two year course that cost 50k. The school credits were good to transfer elswhere, but something was terribly wrong if people are paying 50k and only 8% of them completed the course work.
     
  18. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is an old thread. It was necro-responded to by a spammer.
     
  19. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    spam post has been removed.
     
  20. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    My Place of work had video and now online recorded classes for us to take.
    I opted for a degree form a local University. U of Mich - Flint. All of the Computer Science classes are recorded and done online if you want. Presentations can be done remotely via skype and other formats, although Tests and Finals are to be done at the School. So there are some limitations.

    As Elder999 has stated, if you do it from an accredited school with a good rep then it should be ok.123
     

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