ACE and respect

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by damooster, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. damooster

    damooster New Member

    I am strongly considering enrollment in the American College of Education Ed.D. in Leadership degree program because it is affordable and I can complete it while overseas here in Hanoi.

    I am concerned about the reactions I will get by having a doctorate degree from a for-profit school. I was wondering if anyone here has a doctorate degree from a for-profit, and if so, how have you been received by other schools (if you're working for a university) and other doctorate degree holders. Or, do you work at a university/have a doctorate and have a personal opinion about for-profit doctorate degrees?

    I plan to finish my career abroad working in international schools. I am finishing my teacher certification through Teach Now, so I will be a licensed teacher through DC and I will then complete the requirements for a DC principal license later this year. Everything looks good on paper...just worried about the for-profit doctorate.

  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    My prediction: very few people will know, even fewer will care. Stop worrying.
  3. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Let me ask you this...

    How often do people ask where you earned your Masters or Bachelor's? Now, if the person never heard of either school, how often would you suppose they immediately Google it and check the profit status? It's a rare occurrence. As Kizmet's suggests you might consider letting it go.

    Of course it's YOUR doctorate. And if you can't get over that mental hump, no matter how illogical, then it might not be the program for you.

    ACE, while for-profit, doesn't accept federal financial aid. It is unlikely to ever find itself in the center of a major for-profit versus non-profit controversy. It won't even be affected by the rules that were implemented post-Corinthian. This isn't Phoenix. It doesn't have much of a reputation either way and its programs are geared toward a specific niche. That bodes well. If Phoenix had stuck to nurses and mid-career executives needing an MBA there would likely be a more neutral view of them as well.

    Elsewhere on this forum we compiled lists of people we found on the Internet with tenure track (and sometimes tenured) faculty positions at state and respected private schools. We even found one guy who was an institute director at an Ivy League university. Also on these boards one of our very own seems to be doing just fine in academia with a doctorate from Capella.

    Your mileage may vary, as we say. But if you walk around being all self conscious about your degree then you are likely not going to get the best mileage. You'll just sit back wallowing in self doubt while someone with a fake doctorate from a diploma mill wins over people with charisma and confidence.

    Most of the issues of "respect" come about when you piss someone off. Not too long ago we found a website proclaiming a graduate of Union Institute (RA and non-profit) to have a degree from a diploma mill because they didn't like something the guy said. If you become a Fox News commentator then someone may very well bring it up. If you are just an ordinary person then people tend not to dedicate portions of their day web searching you to find nasty things to leave anonymously in Internet comment sections.
  4. damooster

    damooster New Member

    Thank you.

    My concerns have more to do with me being a new father and wanting to ensure that I am taking proper steps for my family's future. I know that people will look at me and my entire body of work, but I suppose I just want to ensure that having a for-profit doctorate degree is not an automatic deal breaker.

    I'll be proud of the degree if I am accepted into the program and able to finish it.
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Very few things are absolute in hiring.

    When I worked in Pennsylvania as a recruiter there were a few degrees that, at certain career levels, tended to get our attention. We didn't care if a secretary had a degree from the University of Pennsylvania. But we did care if the midlevel professional did. That didn't mean that someone with a degree from Penn automatically shot up to the top of the list or that people with degrees from other schools were dropped to the bottom. It just means that it caught our eye and caused us to scrutinize it a bit more (sometimes that wasn't a good thing for the applicant).

    When I moved to New York I watched a hiring manager positively swoon over an applicant with a degree from Penn State just because of the degree. "But he went to Penn State!" she kept saying. So what? Coming from Pennsylvania PSU grads are a dime a dozen. How about this applicant with a degree from Cornell? She made a face. "This town is filled with Cornell, Colgate and Syracuse grads. But we never see someone with a degree from Penn State!"

    I was shocked. I never thought I would see a hiring manager actually make a face because someone graduated from Cornell.

    I've seen hiring managers hire, without hesitation, a person with a degree from the University of Phoenix or ITT Tech. I've also seen managers laugh at the degrees during screening but ultimately hire the candidate.

    There really is no absolute. There are very few degrees that result in an "automatic" anything. I've seen healthcare companies hesitate when hiring dieticians with degrees from Chiropractic and Naturopathic schools. I've seen other healthcare companies seek those sorts of candidates out because they help their "holistic" image.

    A point I made a few weeks ago is that many people who are very "boo for-profits!" don't actually know what they are against. They built up an image in their minds formed from their perception of what Phoenix, Everest and ITT Tech are all like. Schools like ACE, GCU and APUS are in a different category altogether. Two of them are cheaper than many non-profit and public schools. And all three, for the most part, appeal to a niche demographic which holds them in higher esteem.

    That said there are plenty of RA non-profit options out there. UCumberlands and Johnson University are two schools that come to mind with comparable doctorates. However, having a doctorate from a conservative Christian university might agitate a hiring manager down the road as well. You might also have a degree from a school that is the rival of the hiring manager's favorite team.

    Very few absolutes and you can't ever fully overcome bias. That said the issue you are describing is possible. It just may not be probable.
  6. damooster

    damooster New Member

    Thank you Neuhaus.
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I wouldn't be at all concerned, just keep in mind that the chances of landing a tenure-track position with a Top-10 school with any sort of DL or online doctorate are infinitesimal.

    However, for most schools, no one is likely to ask or care, provided the school is legitimately accredited. Heck, we've (collective DI) found many, many examples of faculty at RA schools with completely fraudulent diploma mill credentials. I certainly wouldn't worry about a RA degree that comes from a school that happens to be for-profit.
  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    You strikes me as somewhat odd that we've always found people with fraudulent degrees but I don't believe anyone has uncovered someone in such a position with an NA doctorate.

    I wonder if it is because there are many for frauds than NA doctoral grads. Or maybe a "fake" PhD has more utility than a "real" EdD/DBA.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I expect it's more that there aren't many doctoral programs at nationally accredited schools, and none of the ones that exist are large, so the total population of NA doctorate holders is much lower than that of people who have bought a fake one.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I think that we heard that a year or two ago there were only 2 people enrolled in the DA program at HMU.
  11. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I think that's a distinct possibility (I alluded to it in my original comment but a typo "for = more" obscured it somewhat).

    But I also wonder if the absence of an NA PhD is a contributing factor. I could see it working in a few ways. A seasoned academic, without a doctorate, who needs a doctorate to keep/advance in their field is likely searching for PhD programs. If you do that you'll probably find Almeda well before you find Taft.

    I also look at these cases where professors with bogus degrees are outed and I wonder if someone with an NA degree would face the same sort of backlash by those who don't understand how accreditation actually works.

    Just a peculiar musing, I suppose.
  13. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I don't think it's really possible to get "outed" for having a NA degree, unless the outer and the target audience are hopeless academic snobs.

    All the people I've seen outed here have had either completely bogus credentials (the Columbia State "graduates" featured on Good Morning America, the woman at Mercer University with the Ed.D. from St. George University International, etc.), or on occasion, unaccredited credentials that are somewhat suspect, like this jamoke;

    Faculty - Roy J. Cohen

    I can't recall ever seeing someone with a degree from Ashworth College, Aspen University, Harrison-Middleton University, etc., ever causing a controversy here.
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Although sadly that's probably 90% of people in higher education. Most people's definition of "degree mill" is any school less prestigious, however slightly, than the one they attended.

    Here, no. But while I might happily hire someone with a DBA from California Miramar University, I think a lot of others in academia would not.
  15. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    I'm 90% in the camp of it not mattering. For *me, I had some strange requirements for my last degree, so if this is your last degree, I think it's reasonable to assume it will be the degree you'll be most associated with. That may or may not matter to other people, but it's ok if it matters to you.
  16. Davewill

    Davewill Member

    Sounds like the absolute definition of "academic snob". I sincerely hope that is not the majority view in academia, but I have no data.
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    My wife and I have some former friends, both professors at Binghamton University. The female half of the couple had some very strong opinions about institutional prestige. She regaled us with stories about how her parents would have been appalled if she had attended Colorado State University rather than whatever tiny, unheard of private school she attended. Said things like "I might as well have gone to community college!" She then proceeded to tell us that we should probably consult a college consultant now (then, at the time, our daughter was about a month old) so that we could map out the clearest future for our child. I told her we would not ever be utilizing the services of a college consultant. She seemed shocked and appalled. "Well, any university where you don't need a consultant to get in isn't really worth attending." When I pointed out that one doesn't need a consultant to get into Binghamton, a perfectly fine SUNY school, she rolled her eyes and said "well, I would never want my kids going to Binghamton. I mean, I guess if they just couldn't get in anywhere else it would have to do."

    This is a professor at Binghamton basically saying that only the screw ups of the world should go there. They have a highly respected engineering program. Great nursing school. But it falls slightly lower than the schools she attended (though she has a private university BA, her doctorate is from a larger and well respected public university).

    Academic snobbery is not based upon any logical process in most cases. It isn't even based upon the actual rankings. It's based upon a person's perceived ranking system.
  18. Tom729

    Tom729 New Member

    I was admitted into the ACE Ed.D program and stayed in the program for a year and a half earning 18 credits before making the decision to leave the school and pursue a Ph.D rather than an Ed.D elsewhere.

    Two things that I did not like about the program were the fact that the school did not participate in title IV (so I was forced to pay my tuition out of my own pocket upfront.) Secondly, there classes were not challenging and virtually all of the professors that I had just handed out As regardless of the quality of my work. That made me very self conscious of the program and my doctorate when I would finally obtain it.

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