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  1. #1
    Tom729 is offline Registered User
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    How rigorous should online doctorate programs to be? Insight from an Ed.D student

    I initially came across this forum inquiring about online Ph.Ds and Ed.D. Shortly thereafter I was accepted into the January 2014 cohort of the American College of Education for the Ed.D program. I would like to follow up by saying that I really appreciate the advise offered by many people here.

    The American College of education was by far (with the exception of Aspen with is not an R.A) the cheapest RA school around. About six months ago they reduced the tuition by one third so the whole program from start to finish can be completed for around $20,000.

    I have a masters degree from a regular B&M type school and initially I was very hesitant about pursuing an online degree for reasons that have been mentioned here by different people such as marketability, perceptions, etc.

    This is only my opinion, but the one complaint that "I have" about my Ed.D program is that it's way too simple and easy. I have been in the program for about ten months and in that time I have put in a very minimal amount of effort and received almost straight A's in every class. I was expecting a doctorate program to be much more intense and rigorous. In college and grad school I worked my ass off long hard hours and graduated with an B and B+ average respectively.

    Of course that may not be a complaint in everyone's case, but it concerns me because I take pride in my accomplishments and I naturally feel much better about my accomplishment if it was more challenging to earn.

    So far in my program the classes mainly consist of module readings and responding to peer reading related reviews.
    A typical assignment in my class might look something like this. This was taken from my syllabus and is due in several days.

    As a leader, what is your role in enhancing diversity and understanding in the culture of your organization? How will you make sure all of the voices and perspectives are included and encouraged? In other words, how will you facilitate a culture welcoming and supportive for all personnel while maintaining appropriate levels of challenge and of performance expectations?

    Create a document or media product (e.g., PowerPoint, Jing, video presentation) addressing these questions.


    I hope that I'm not insulting anyone, but something like this to me seems like a high school level assignment.

    I'm curious how other people view their program in terms of difficulty.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Tom729; 10-07-2014 at 03:14 PM.

  2. #2
    me again is offline Registered User
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    Enjoy it while it lasts. Once you get to quantitative methods, statistics, and finally the research phase, you will see people begin to drop out. A monkey can do almost all the classes that lead up to the dissertation in almost every doctoral program.
    MA, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Theology: in-progress online
    Info: http://www.franciscan.edu/academics/graduate-programs/
    Favorite scriptures: Rev. 11:15 & Luke 24:45

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  3. #3
    DxD=D^2 is offline Registered User
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    Tom,

    I'm not in a doctoral program, but I'm completing my masters at SNHU; I'm taking one class at a time and am nearly half-way done. With my last class, I felt that it was such an easy class, that I had very little challenge. I received an 'A' in the class -- Ethical Practices in Psychology . It might just be that the easier classes are in the beginning of your program. I was looking at ACE's program and their classes look really interesting, I admit. Keep us posted about your studies and let us know if things change.
    Last edited by DxD=D^2; 10-07-2014 at 05:48 PM.
    PhD Leadership - University of the Cumberlands ('19)
    MA Leadership & Organizational Studies - Azusa Pacific University ('17)
    MS Psychology - Southern New Hampshire University ('16)
    BS Psychology - Liberty University ('13)

    In his heart, a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. — Proverbs 16:9

  4. #4
    mattbrent is offline Registered User
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    Was your masters in education as well? I've noticed (and this is just MY opinion) that my education coursework was far easier than my history or political science coursework. I finished my MSEd in a year by taking 2 8-week courses at a time while working full-time. It was mostly writing several reflective papers per class, with a dash of research. My MA, on the other hand, took three years. I had to do more discussion, longer papers, etc. I started off at WNMU taking 2 courses per semester, but then, due to the workload (I had also had another child by this point) I had to drop to 1 class per semester during the spring and fall while I was still teaching .

    Now I'm in the PhD program at the University of the Cumberlands. It's a great program. I like that we have live class sessions. The coursework is not entirely difficult. There is a good deal of writing involved, which is fine with me. The topics, at least to this point for me, have been pretty straight forward. Nothing has really been earth shattering, but I'm sure that's because I've gotten plenty of experience from my K-12 and Higher Ed roles. Once I get deeper into the program, I'm sure that will change.

    -Matt
    BA in History - Christopher Newport University, May 2004
    MSEd (Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment) - Walden University, February 2008
    MAIS (History & Political Science) - WNMU, May 2011
    PhD in Leadership - The University of the Cumberlands, May 2017
    http://www.mattbrent.net

  5. #5
    Tom729 is offline Registered User
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    Mattbrent,

    Question. Does the University of the Cumberlands require the GRE as part of the admissions process for the PhD program? I'm assuming that the answer is yes.
    I have been thinking of transfering to that school. I am hearing great things about it.

    Also how much is PhD program per credit there? The Ed.D program at AES is $303.00 per credit or just over $900.00 per three credit class.

  6. #6
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    I'll second what Matt said about Cumberlands. The coursework is easy for me, but it might not be if I hadn't already spent a decade working in higher education .
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
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  7. #7
    mattbrent is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom729 View Post
    Mattbrent,

    Question. Does the University of the Cumberlands require the GRE as part of the admissions process for the PhD program? I'm assuming that the answer is yes.
    I have been thinking of transfering to that school. I am hearing great things about it.

    Also how much is PhD program per credit there? The Ed.D program at AES is $303.00 per credit or just over $900.00 per three credit class.
    Yes, they require the GRE. I applied last fall, and I believe they've added more requirements now. I think there's also additional pre-assessments that are taken through UC as part of the application process. Tuition is $375 per credit, with a fee per course, so it's a little more than your current school. I still think it's rather affordable, however. At my institution we can be reimbursed for coursework at whatever rate Old Dominion University charges. (They're a public university.) ODU currently charges about $450 per credit.

    -Matt
    BA in History - Christopher Newport University, May 2004
    MSEd (Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment) - Walden University, February 2008
    MAIS (History & Political Science) - WNMU, May 2011
    PhD in Leadership - The University of the Cumberlands, May 2017
    http://www.mattbrent.net

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  9. #8
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    They require one of the following: the GRE, the Miller Analogies Test, or extra recommendations. I took the MAT rather than the GRE because it takes an hour, costs less than a hundred bucks, and has no math. I don't know why anyone would take the expensive, long GRE when the MAT is an option.
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
    More at http://stevefoerster.com

  10. #9
    mattbrent is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    They require one of the following: the GRE, the Miller Analogies Test, or extra recommendations. I took the MAT rather than the GRE because it takes an hour, costs less than a hundred bucks, and has no math. I don't know why anyone would take the expensive, long GRE when the MAT is an option.
    I took the GRE back in 2003 while I was still an undergrad. It did rather well, and luckily I'm a hoarder and kept my score sheet. UC accepted a copy of it. They appeared to be rather flexible a year ago when I applied. I can't say what it's like now. From what I understand, the program is growing, so while that's a good thing, I'm sure they're going to start narrowing down who gets in more than they've previously done.

    -Matt
    BA in History - Christopher Newport University, May 2004
    MSEd (Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment) - Walden University, February 2008
    MAIS (History & Political Science) - WNMU, May 2011
    PhD in Leadership - The University of the Cumberlands, May 2017
    http://www.mattbrent.net

  11. #10
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbrent View Post
    I took the GRE back in 2003 while I was still an undergrad. It did rather well, and luckily I'm a hoarder and kept my score sheet. UC accepted a copy of it. They appeared to be rather flexible a year ago when I applied. I can't say what it's like now. From what I understand, the program is growing, so while that's a good thing, I'm sure they're going to start narrowing down who gets in more than they've previously done.
    No more of the likes of us, eh?
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
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  12. #11
    Tom729 is offline Registered User
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    My only consern is that at some point in the near future that very low rate of $375.00 per credit is going to be raised. With their overhead it seems uncomprehensable how their tuition can stay that cheap.

    While I would absolutely much more prefer an institution with a physical campus, the 100% online institute is less likley to do that.
    Last edited by Tom729; 10-09-2014 at 06:54 AM.

  13. #12
    Tom729 is offline Registered User
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    In fact when they lowered their tuition I was initially scared because I thought it was the result of the institution losing their RA accredidation.

  14. #13
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    When you have around twenty students in a class each paying around a thousand dollars for it, that's twenty grand in revenue per course. What expenses do you think they have where that would be unsustainably low?
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
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  15. #14
    Tom729 is offline Registered User
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    Historically institutions always incrementally raise their rates. I'm not saying it's done or not done for practical or justifiable reasons.

    I could be totally wrong, it's just doesn't seem likely that their tuition will stay that low. I hope that this is not the case.

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  17. #15
    mattbrent is offline Registered User
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    UC is also associated with the Baptist Church, and I'm sure the church subsidizes it a bit. I can't say that with 100% certainty, though.

    -Matt
    BA in History - Christopher Newport University, May 2004
    MSEd (Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment) - Walden University, February 2008
    MAIS (History & Political Science) - WNMU, May 2011
    PhD in Leadership - The University of the Cumberlands, May 2017
    http://www.mattbrent.net

  18. #16
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Hmm. While the affiliation has a strong influence on the culture of the school, at least for campus-based programs, I'm not sure it means a subsidy.
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
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