4 Week BA

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by Lewchuk, Aug 1, 2001.

  1. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    I will likely get flamed for this because of the covert prejudice of some but I will stand up anyway.

    Certainly there is a view that the opportunity to obtain an accredited undergrad so quickly, easily and at such a low cost is a wonderful discovery which will enable many to achieve things they would otherwise would not be able to (God Bless America!).

    However, there is another point of view which says that when you compare what is required in a traditional 4 year undergrad (or 3yr in other parts of the world), whether it is earned via on-campus study or through a distance methodology, that whatever you have accomplished in a 4 week or like program (although it is undoubtedly of value) is most certainly not equivalent to a traditional undergraduate degree... and that such "opportunities" are a discredit to those who have earned a legitimate undergraduate degree.

    Let the flames begin...
  2. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    No flame --

    It comes down to a philosophy in education. Is it what you know or is it how you learned it. The Excelsior model is based on what you know not where or how you learned it.

  3. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    You are of course, not the first to make these points, Ken, and you will find several fairly full to overflowing threads in this board alone, that deal with matter ad

    I've nothing left to say on the matter that I haven't said before. See the archive.

    Uh, one thought though . . .

    Whatever defense you have used in your unwavering support of the Heriot Watt proficiency examination based MBA, will probably apply in equal measure to bachelor degrees earned by way of proficiency examinations.

    Another point worth noting is that many students will complete an exam based degree over a period of years. If a student takes, say, four years, to complete requirements by examination, and another student takes four weeks to complete the identical requirements, is one more deserving of academic recognition than another?

    How many of us have or know of others who have, been in full time education but hardly ever attended classes, yet graduated? It happens in the traditional setting as much as the DL setting.

    The issue is not one of process but of outcomes. There is nothing magical about process. The Excelsior, COSC and TESC assessments only measure outcomes. All candidates must reach a given minimum level of competence to be awarded a degree at these institutions, regardless of the method or length of instruction.

    It has been determined that particular configurations of examination passes at particular levels provide sufficient evidence of minimum competence to award a degree,
    regardless of the candidates prior academic history, method of study or time served.

    It appears that graduates who have earned bachelor degrees by examination perform as well in graduate school as other graduates who have earned undergraduate degrees by more traditional means.

    In short, there is no evidence that those earning degrees by examination in a compressed period of time are less academically competent than those earning degrees by other methods in longer periods.

    While it is entirely possible to "feel" that there would be difference in academic competence, we must resist the temptation to indulge our prejudices and deal with
    observation and verifiable fact.
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    No flames, but a couple of observations. First, you talking about "covert prejudice" among others is a real hoot, considering your blatant anti-US attitude when it comes to education. Secondly, I find it most annoying that you continue to directly infer that a degree earned by passing exams is somehow not legitimate. Just off the top of my head, I can think of two people from this board who gained admittance to very good graduate schools with an undergrad degree earned in this manner. I really don't think your argument holds water.

    I earned about half the credits for my undergrad degree through exams and portfolio credit...does that mean I have 1/2 of a legitimate degree?

  5. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    I disagree. I took 40+ courses for my first undergrad and I can't think of a single course which, if I had to write the exam today, I would stand much of a chance to pass (even though I did graduate with honors).

  6. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

  7. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    Perhaps the greatest irony here is that Ken, according to recent posts, has just completed requirements, or is about to complete requirements, for an MBA solely by way of proficiency examinations, from Heriot Watt University.

    Here we have a prospective H-W MBA exam based DL graduate who doubts the validity of his own performance and his own degree.

    He doesn't include his own degree? How can that be? Ken earned his MBA by way of proficiency examinations. It did not matter how long or how hard he may have studied. No one asked about the quality or rigor of his preparation. No one cared if he even had a bachelor's degree. All that mattered was that he passed the exam. The exam was the only arbiter of competence.

    Yet now Ken has cause to doubt the very foundations of that kind of assessment. Well, except where it relates to his own efforts, of course.

    Nice one.
  8. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    The details of why that is wholly reasonable and practicable are spelled out in "BA in 4 Weeks", should you care to read it.

    The statement that precipitated your reply clearly compares the same set of exams taken in four weeks or taken over four years, therefore the same metric is used in both cases. There is no need for wishful thinking. There is however, a requirement that the statement be properly read before replying.

    Again, Ken, I find myself struck by the galling irony of an H-W exam based MBA criticizing the awarding of degrees by way of proficiency testing.

    Pot calling the kettle black; what's good for the goose being good for the gander; people in glass houses not throwing stones; rank hypocrisy . . . that sort of thing.
  9. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    Well, OK, but by the same logic, what "real school" lets non graduates, without so much as a freshman credit, into their MBA program? I mean, besides your school, Ken?

    Did you know that the leading US credential evaluator company (ECE), used by Excelsior, COSC, University of Maryland and many others, ranked your MBA at the level equivalent to little more than a US high school diploma? (source John Bear)

    What "real school" allows its uh, "graduate students", <snicker> to take no classes, talk to no faculty, but simply sit nine tests to get a master's degree? Isn't that how you "earned" yours, Ken? I mean do the words "Mickey" and "Mouse" have resonance here, or what?

    [Note that I think the H-W MBA is perfectly valid, but the above illustrates how Ken's misuse of rhetoric can come back to bite you on the bum. This sort of approach brings nothing to the debate, yet is is all Ken has offered. He has presented no evidence of any lack of sufficient rigor or quality in the Excelsior, COSC or TESC degrees, earned by examination. He has instead, chosen to diminish the efforts of many by false comparisons and unsubstantiated innuendo.]
  10. Gerstl

    Gerstl New Member

    Well, that depends on the quality of the exams. In many residential UK undergrad degrees, for example, performance in accessed mainly on the basis of a few exams. I'd bet that the actual exams for a BS in math from Cambridge (the tripos exams) could likely be completed in less than 20 days of actually sitting taking exams if done all in a row [which Cambridge does not allow, AFAIK].

    Now graduate is a different story. Graduate is supposed to be new learning....
  11. Bill Highsmith

    Bill Highsmith New Member

    What exactly is the huge difference between your six proficiency exams for the H-W MBA and Lawrie's forty (for two BA degrees)...other than the quantity?
  12. Yan

    Yan New Member

  13. Gerstl

    Gerstl New Member

    For CPA, in most states you are correct (some do not have this requirement). For law, in the US, I don't know any states that require more than an ABA JD, the exam(s) and a background check (EsqPhD? Joy?)

    FYI--I had dinner a few nights back with a Federal Judge and we discussed this very issue. She opined that eventually US bars would move toward the CPA/Brit law model where supervised internships are required.
  14. Yan

    Yan New Member

    Does it mean that someone can practise as an attorney or CPA (in certain states) without any practical experience? A very interesting issue.

    In the UK system, apprenticeship is an important element for getting a practising licence.
  15. Gerstl

    Gerstl New Member

    Yep, exactly right. In the US you could go to law school, have basically no clinical experience, take the bar, move to a rural area and hang a shingle. In many states, a CPA can do the same....Scary huh?
  16. joybaum

    joybaum New Member

    Years and years ago, Delaware had a six month legal clerkship requirement between law school and Bar admission. I don't know whether they still do or not.
    I sorta kinda disagree with the federal Judge. I don't think we're going to see the kind of apprenticeship that the Brits use but I DO think that our law schools will impose ever greater "clinical practice" requirements on law students.
    At the University of New Mexico there is a minimum six semester hour clinic requirement for all law students. I represented my clinic clients before the IRS and Tax Court.
  17. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    If the shoe fits...

    I earned about half the credits for my undergrad degree through exams and portfolio credit...does that mean I have 1/2 of a legitimate degree?


  18. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    If the shoe fits...

    I earned about half the credits for my undergrad degree through exams and portfolio credit...does that mean I have 1/2 of a legitimate degree?


  19. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    I guess they can't test comprehension well in 4 weeks. I have no problem with proficiency examinations for many (most?) disciplines. In fact many schools, including HW, us them primarily or exclusively as a means of evaluation (as well as the professions). I think you will find that many (most?) have no difficulty with proficiency examinations. However, this was not the issue I raised.

  20. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    Again, the issue is not proficency testing.


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