4 Week BA - Part 2

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by Lewchuk, Aug 5, 2001.

  1. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    However if a prospective student has no more knowledge of a university major subject than an average member of the general public, then I find any process that awards them a degree without the necessity of significant additional study to not be credible.

    To take this further. Such a program would actually be more viable at the graduate level, where study is more specialized. A BA has a breadth component which would make the opportunity to condense preparation time even more remote. A person does not need more knowledge than the general public in a subject but in many subjects. Again, the bottom line is that to suggest that you can condense a 6000 hr degree with the standard requirements of breadth and depth down to 1 year and less... is foolishness.
  2. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I must live in a very different "real world". People in the world I inhabit earn credit by examination all the time. People earn degrees at non-traditional ages and take non-traditional amounts of time doing it. They drop out and re-enroll. They change their majors. They take independent study and various portfolio projects.

    Aren't you one of our anonymous "ivy league" characters who was just dismissing all of distance education on another thread? Well, plain old non-vanity degrees are fine with us.

    Just as you tell us that distance education itself is perceived as inferior. But most universities I've seen offer distance education courses, are interested in expanding their offerings, and offer credit by examination in testing centers set up for the purpose. Employers usually encourage employees to take advantage of these things, and often pay for it.

    I don't see why, so long as the examination process is credible. If there is any real issue here at all (I'm not really sure there is), that's where it lies.

    I think that you are like King Canute (or whoever it was) ordering the tide to stop coming in.

    The reality of higher education is that it is becoming a lifetime process, not one restricted to adolescents. People will learn throughout their lives in a multitude of ways: university courses, on the job, from all kinds of commercial training and by independent study.

    And there is going to be an increasing need for some way to bring all of that scattered education together in one place, to assess it, and to grant equivalent credentials.

    What we are discussing in this thread is a model of what much of 21'st century adult higher education will probably look like.
  3. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    The problem is that these are still RA degrees so that that in many cases they will be considered equal with real degrees. This is the concern the professor who wrote the excerpts above is refering to... degree inflation.

  4. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    I did not write the above, it is a recent article from a professor who obviously shares some of my same concerns. This should be an issue to both those who have earned real degrees and those who are concerned about the general perceptionof DL.

  5. B Liang

    B Liang member

    What's the use if someone on here gives their BA/BS or lists a four year course catalogue of a BA/BS program. This is pretty easy to get from the internet and school catalogues even if someone didn't have the credentials. I think these two fellows probably don't want to respond to an emotionally charged discussion.

    Since these guys don't want to respond, I'll do it myself. The 4 Week BA is a weak argument because:

    1. Most tested materials in school do not correlate well with practical life knowledge. So whatever one may know in "on the job" situations, will rarely translate to enough preparatory time required to pass the standard residential college exams. So just because a person has been working as a doctor for 30 years--doesn't mean that the person can just take a few months to study for an exam that will test all four years of med school. I think this will apply to even 4 year liberal arts studies.

    2. The "establishment" that was alluded to in the thread does not and will never view people who take degrees by quick exams in the same light as regularly earned degrees from residential schools. It doesn't matter if that one out of 10 "4 Week BA" person really knows his stuff, the establishment will always view the majority of these programs as Mickey Mouse, because there are enough morons who are able to get the 4 Week BA.

    3. Most of the schools that allow for these "4 Week BA's" are loser schools, the bottom of the accreditation level. It doesn't have enough influence to change the people in power.

    No reputable school or academic, at least not 99% of the majority of the institutions would be ok with the 4 Week BA crap.
  6. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    And yet, earlier Lewchuck wrote:
    And given the above, I once aqain ask you, what bachelor's degree do you have and which institution conferred it? What was the major?

    You have clearly, and loudly told us we do not know what you know, because to know, requires a real education (which you say we do not have). Since you do know, you must therefore have had the real education we lack. What was the nature of that education, Ken? Where did you earn your bachelor's degree? Was it a 4-year program? Have you had difficulty getting that degree accepted anywhere? Is your reluctance to answer basic questions to do with the integrity of your degree?

    Could it be that after all your prognostications and derisive comments, you do not have a legitimate bachelor's degree. Is that why you have run away from answering basic questions? Is that why you chose the Heriot Watt MBA that requires no previous qualifications for entry?

    Your silence speaks volumes.
  7. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    I think the key is that these people are not going to be going into interviews, etc., proclaiming how great they are for finishing a real BA in 4 weeks (I can just picture people ROTFLTAO).

  8. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    Evidence, please. Where are the data that support this contention? Citations, please.

    Uh, I don't know about that one. By the way, who are you?

    "Never" is a long time. The question is how does that prejudice affect the utility of a DL degree or a DL degree earned by examination?

    My experience of acceptance into several master's degree programs is at odds with your contention. The documented experience of another exam graduate who received offers to 9 out of 10 UK master's programs is also at odds with your statements. Both of our experiences are documented on this board with specifics of institutions and particular programs. Unlike others who make claims, we are prepared to back our positions with verifiable evidence.
    Again, as stated previously, I have had no problems with acceptance of my two, earned near 100% by exam, degrees. Where is your evidence that utility is severely (or even mildly) impaired? Cite verifiable sources please.

    Simply not true. Is the University of Warwick a loser school? I don't think so. Yet a recent Excelsior exam graduate starts his full time master's there in October. The Excelsior catalog lists a plethora of fine schools into whose programs its graduates have been admitted.

    My degrees comprise almost entirely exam credit. On the transcript they are listed as, "CLEP", "DANTES", "RCE", "GRE subject", so there could be no possible confusion in the mind of any admissions specialists that my degrees are exam based. And yet, I have been admitted to several regionally accredited and foreign schools (equivalent to US RA schools). I am now doing concurrent masters degrees at different institutions in diverse subjects all thanks to my USNY/Regents degrees earned by examination.

    Once again, we have any anonymous contributor who makes statements that fly in the face of reason and established fact. These individuals offer no corroboration of their statements, they refuse to identify either themselves or the details of their academic experience that might be verified and used in support of their statements. All we have had is bluster and invective.

    Isn't that the profile of a troll?
  9. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    Well, now we are down to it, I think. Having refused to detail your own credentials, and having lost any credibility, you now show yourself in a true light.

    Earlier Luchuck wrote:
  10. B Liang

    B Liang member

    I can't comment on Warwick. The Excelsior seems like a low level school regardless of its accreditation. I don't know what it is and don't care to know.

    What are you densed? Everyone that comes to these discussion groups has to give their address and social security number? You want to call my mommy? Are you as stupid as your comments?

    You want to know where I graduated from? So if I told you I went to MIT with a BS in Chemistry...you want to check...go ahead...it's been about 20 years. The name is Bryan Liang. Once you know, go to a real school.

    I read your BA in 4 Weeks introduction--and I still think it's crap. My cite...me...and all my chemistry professors at MIT. Open the phone book and call them and explain to them about your BA in 4 Weeks. First, you won't even get beyond their secretaries. Second, who the hell cares if I have a BS in Chemistry. Are you going to be able to pull my transcripts from MIT? You want to go at with me...let's go...the other people may be nice guys...but the hell I'm gonna put up with your bottom of the line mail ordered degree scholarship.
  11. se94583

    se94583 New Member

    I think the bottom line is that Lawrie, et al. just haven't competed for real jobs in the real world. Otherwise, point out a 4 week wonder who has gone on to a creditble grad program. Emphasis on credible-- not some fourth-tier school like Louisiana Tech, etc. Mt observation was that in the real world, gatekeepers will do one of two things when confronted with a 4 week wonder-- either laugh or (not caring) just say OK. In the later case, a mill "degree" is just as useful.

    The process counts-- otherwise, why don't we have Master's and PhD's by examination-- surely there are historians, etc. who have produced works superior to many PhD dissertations but they don't have a PhD-- shouldn't they deserve one too???
  12. Yan

    Yan New Member

    FYI - University of Warwick is a top tier UK university and is ranking no.2 in Business Studies by latest Good Univerity Guide of The Times. The Univeristy is ranking high in other areas.

    For information, you may access to: www.thetimes.co.uk/section/0,,714,00.html
  13. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    Apparently many people think so. It is perhaps particularly ironic that you should say this, given that Lewchuck has just completed an entire master's degree entirely by examination. In this respect you should take issue with him.

    There are now a few institutions offering a Ph.D. for published work. So it does seem that your argument is moot in this respect too.
  14. Yan

    Yan New Member

    "The Excelsior seems like a low level school". Yes it is when it compares with Harvard and LSE.
  15. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    Great post, you kill me!

  16. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    Actually, masters by examination are fairly common at good schools in the UK. Once again, the issue is the difficulty level of the exam. These exams are part of full-time degree programs which, if you take them via DL, take the same amount of time... they are not part of any "quick & easy" degree.

  17. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    But are you qualified to determine the nature of a quick and easy degree? Do you have a bachelor's, Ken? If so, where from and in what subject? Is it a three year 90 credit degree, or a 4 year 120 credit degree? Have you experienced difficulty with acceptance of this degree by other institutions?

    The Heriot Watt degree requires a total of nine exams be passed, if no exemptions are given. With exemptions, a student would normally be expected to pass seven exams. Exemptions are given for some undergraduate degrees and for certain industry/occupational designations.

    The Heriot Watt degree has no minimum time to completion. All exams could be completed in one week. There is no provision or requirement for any academic communication between students and professors. All that is required is a pass of 50% in each exam. Up to two "passes" below 50% may be accepted. These comp passes are given down to a level of 45% of total marks.

    Each exam consists of two to four short essays and a multiple choice section.
  18. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    Obvious bias by se94583 and Bi Liang on earning credit and degrees via examination. se945583 you state that there are no masters by exam. Actually there is, the Heriot-Watt MBA, from the very fine and well respected Edinburgh School of Business, awards its credit solely on the passage of their exams.
    You buy the course, study, and take the exam. This is not much different than any other assessment program by examination. You study, maybe use a study guide, and take the exam.

    Bi, you need to research distance learning a bit more. The Excelsior College program was started by the University of the State of New York, which in and of itself is a recognized accreditor. The school also holds RA status and several professional accreditations (NLN and ABET). The model of the school has been well thought out and applied for over 30 years. There are now 95,000 alumni; of which many have gone on to Ivy League schools. The school also has the largest Nursing program in the world. The entire model of the school is as an assessment institution.

    By the way, I did notice that MIT awards advanced standing for various examinations for incoming freshman. What is the difference in this assessment versus other college level exam assessments?

    You will also find that outcomes of DL learners compared to traditional students has been about equal to that of traditional learners. You can do your own research on this topic if you wish.

    Assessment Faculty for Excelsior come from all over the country, a small sampling currently includes faculty from:

    Columbia University
    Penn State
    Various SUNY institutions
    Boston College
    UMASS - Amherst

    and I am just scratching the surface.

    More than half of Excelsior grads earn 40 hours or more of credit by examination. http://www.excelsior.edu/exold/091.htm

    Anyway, informed discussion needed.

  19. John Piquet

    John Piquet New Member


    I have been reading your posts with great interest for the past several days, and I would like to throw my hat into the ring. For the record, I am completing my degree in Business Admn. at COSC via portfolio and testing. I have 74 credits earned through traditional methods, and have worked as auditor/accountant (no CPA here!) for approx seven years.

    All I can offer is personal experience. I would love to have the time to cite specific studies, but I do not.

    I returned to college after working in the "real" world for almost seven years. I quickly learned two things: 1) College is aimed at the average student. 2) Practical experience is more valuable than classroom experience--even in the classroom.

    I was one of those students who would come into class once a week, test, and go home. My lowest test score in my managerial accounting class was 92%. I was the only student to get over 100% on a stock assessment we were assigned (105% because I was dead on, and made the professor some $$$.) My final grade in the class? D. Why? The Business Department had rules regarding attendance. Despite an obvious A based on performance, I was given a lower grade because I did not comply with a ridiculous attendance policy. (Remember, I am PAYING for the degree, they are not giving it free as in elementary and high school education.) This, in my opinion, is the establishment realizing that the difficulty of the material is average, at best, and trying to punish the student who may excel in a particular area by forcing them to attend class.

    When student A does not attend class and exceeds the performance of student B, who attends class regularly, school becomes defensive, and punishes student A. (Luckily Professor C is intelligent and will write student A a glowing recommendation.)

    Although Lewchuck does offer some decent banter, and is reasonably insightful in his responses, I must side with Lawrie. I believe there are two reasons why people are against the "BA in 4 weeks" idea. 1) Pride 2) Money.

    1) After spending 4 years at a traditional college, studying hard, going to class regularly, lugging a large sack of books around, hunting for parking spaces, etc., it is reasonable to expect that one would be quite miffed (or pissed off) if they realized that someone else amassed the same knowledge through life experience/independent study has tested out to have exactly the same amount of knowledge as the traditional student.

    2) The established system will lose a tremendous amount of revenue if prospective students learn they can achieve an accredited degree in anywhere from 1/4 to 1/48 of the time, and save thousands of dollars by doing it.

    Another point. Time working and or experiencing life/studying on your own is exactly that--TIME. Lawrie has never stated that someone with no work/life experience could breeze through or even pass the tests required to obtain a BA in 4 weeks. So, to those traditionalists who are worried about time put in, an equal or greater amount of time may be required for those who can obtain a BA in 4 weeks. The difference is that most of their learning has been done outside of the classroom. It would be possible to suggest that perhaps a BA in 4 weeks takes longer than a traditional degree to obtain. In my case, it will, but I have experience a college graduate does not have, and much less books to carry.

    I spend the bulk of my time as a writer, although the bulk of my income has not yet made the transition, and I must congratulate Lawrie in having articulate, well punctuated, and well debated posts. I must also commend Mr. Lewchuck for sticking to his guns, even though many have misfired.

    Peace and happy studying to all,

    John Piquet
  20. EsqPhD

    EsqPhD member

    Maybe if you graduated from a traditional high caliber residential program you would understand my position.

    The difference being that most of those awards come from Advance Placement classes (AP) that were course based in High School. At MIT, we only award credit based on the that and the attainment of a 5 out of 5 on the AP and similar exam. There is a HUGE difference between Mickey Mouse schools where most people who attempt can pass the exams and MIT.

    I haven't the time to look through all of the above but in any institution, "welfare recipients" are sometimes admitted. MIT does not and will never admit want to be Excelsior portfolio and test credits--for that, you'd have to stay at the bottom.

    Can some moron tell me what the hell giving out my B.S. in Chemistry has to do with this stupid Laurie Miller discussion?

    Who the hell is going to check? Let me know so I can call the MIT Chemistry department to laugh at your stupid faces?

Share This Page