Advice on PhD in psychology, behavior, cognitive sci

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by Trek, Nov 25, 2018.

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  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Your rationale is not objective. It is based solely on your hatred for for-profit institutions. I can provide several examples of people with FP doctorates who have published several peer-reviewed articles.
     
  2. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    I never claimed that my rationale is anything but subjective. However, I have no hatred for for-profit institutions, nor for anything else - hatred takes negative energy, and I can't be bothered. (Even when I call FP schools the "spawn of Satan," I assure you that I'm doing it with tongue in cheek.)

    As for people with FP doctorates being published, perhaps you're forgetting that I have, multiple times, said that to every rule there are exceptions. Of course you can be published with an FP doctorate. You can even be hired for a full-time faculty position with an FP doctorate. You can even be granted tenure if you have an FP doctorate. Because (repeat after me) to every rule there are exceptions. As for peer-reviewed articles, the primary criterion for that isn't the school from which you graduated, but whether you have solid research and writing skills. And, quite frankly, since I never got hung up on the hierarchy of academe, I never gave a crap about peer-reviewed articles at all.

    Nonetheless, one proof, such as it is, to the validity of my position is that we're even discussing it at all. People with FP doctorates will, at some time and almost without exception, be put in a position in which they feel they have to defend their credentials because they are from FP schools. People with NP credentials never have to defend their credentials on that basis.

    I just read an article in which the author quoted a personnel manager who said that he never gives a second look to résumés from Liberty U. graduates. But I don't have to tell you that, since you were aware of the potential down sides of Liberty before you enrolled in your current program. And, as you know, I have endorsed Liberty for many years despite any down sides - that, too, is a subjective evaluation on my part.

    I know H.R. directors who reject applicants with degrees from the University of Phoenix solely on that basis. On the other hand, a friend of mine graduated from Phoenix and was so happy with them that he went on to earn a Phoenix master's. And there is no doubt that his Phoenix credentials did help him advance in his position with a major company. I tend to agree with Rich D. that while many people get ripped off by or wash out of Phoenix, those who stick it through to the end do end up with credible degrees. But they will, at some point, run into people who think Phoenix is a mickey-mouse school and they will have to defend their credentials in a way that NP graduates will not.

    Now, repeat once again . . . to every rule there are exceptions. :rolleyes:
     
  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I remember seeing a court show last year where the judge asked the defendant where she got her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from. She said "University of Phoenix" and the entire audience laughed. Was it because the school is for-profit? I tend to think it's because of its reputation for being a bad school more than anything. I've heard graduates from other for-profits mention their school during similar shows and nobody made a sound or had any reaction at all.

    Another interesting thing I've noticed is that some schools are perceived by some as for-profit schools even though they are and have always been non-profit. I've read WGU being mentioned with for-profit schools sometimes (it happened in this thread), but Western Governors is a non-profit school. I've even noticed how some tend to conflate competency-based education with for-profit schools even though the CBE model has never been exclusive to a specific type of school, but looking at the field overall I'd say that CBE models have mostly been found at non-profit schools.
     
  4. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Yep, this is because The Evil Empire got itself a reputation as a "bad school". This is quite unfair to graduates; I was an adjunct at their Canadian offshoot (now defunct), and can attest that learning happens in these classes. I think the "Phoenix model" is ill-suited for things like computer programming, and is too cookie-cutter - but what it does effectively is guarding against absentee instructors and complete blow-off classes. Certain floor on quality is always there. That, and they use TurnItIn religiously, and policy on plagiarism is followed - I failed one plagiarist, and it was upheld by the department. Someone who graduated with a DNP from there has a legitimate degree. Yet all of them probably had to defend it at least once in their careers.

    This is, of course, a valid reason to not pick University of Phoenix, and slightly weaker argument against well-known for-profits (certainly Capella, probably Walden...). Argument against other ones is what happened to Argosy.
     
  5. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    I recently checked out WGU's web site and, since then (thanks to cookies), they have been popping up constantly on many other web sites. They appear to be marketing in the way that SNHU did - they've become, in essence, a non-profit that markets like a for-profit.

    Nonetheless, because of their prominence, I think we're at the point that references to the "Big 3" (TESC, Excelsior, Charter Oak) should now be to the "Big 4," including WGU since they are a public institution with a presence in many states. They have, essentially, become the western "arm" of the former Big 3.
     
  6. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    To every rule there are exceptions :)
     
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I would not recommend, as a rule, the University of Phoenix.

    The problem with UoP is its out-sized reputation, largely undeserved. They're the poster child for whatever ills people want to attribute to for-profit schools, alternative education, online degrees, or whatever bogeyman someone comes up with.

    It's like McDonalds. They've become the archetype for the fast food industry. You know who benefits the most from that? Burger King. Burger King does everything McDonald's does, but gets almost none of the public flak for it. Same with UoP. Lots of its ills, real or imagined, can be attributed to other schools--but most people could not name any other school besides UoP.
     
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  8. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    My own view on the matter is that if one is interested in the respect of one's peers at the doctoral level, one should seek out the best university that one can afford/be admitted to.

    Contra-Steve, that's not a matter of the university's tax status. It's a function of faculty-strength, reputation in the subject in question, research productivity, collaborations and grants and awards won. And sadly, very few, if any, DL doctoral programs show well in these regards. That weakness generally seems to hold true regardless of tax status, RA/NA, nationality or whatever. So bottom line, if one is interested in an academic career, then it's probably best to forget DL and go to graduate school on-campus, probably full-time, in the best program possible.

    With a practitioner-oriented degree like a PsyD, the reputation of the place where a graduate went to school is probably all that lots of graduates have. So they can buttress it by becoming licensed, joining professional organizations and the like. In some states, there are even restrictions on calling yourself a "psychologist" unless you are licensed as a clinical psychologist. Which probably is one factor, among many, behind the growth of Cognitive Science as an academic subject. It's where the researchers are more likely to be found these days. Decades ago, psychologists were the scientists who ran rats through mazes. Today they are the clinicians who act like psychiatrists.

    With a scholarly degree like a PhD, standing in one's field isn't just a function of who your teachers were and what they were doing. It's crucially dependent on what you, the graduate, have been doing. What was your dissertation about? Did it attract any attention? What else have you published? What are your past and current institutional affiliations? (I don't like that last one since there's a huge element of bias in academic hiring, but it's nevertheless influential.)

    Of course if the point is merely to obtain a doctorate and call yourself "doctor" in front of laypeople, then none of this really matters all that much. Pretty much any doctoral degree will work, unless it's a mill degree that subsequently explodes when you are found out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  9. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    You could probably get the same kind of reaction from many people with the words "distance learning" or "online".
     
  10. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    This is very true. I had a chat with a rep there a few months ago as I was curious about some things I'd read on a few boards and wanted to confirm the accuracy, and ever since I've gotten quite a few emails from them about enrolling. I even received a well-produced brochure in the mail from WGU and I don't recall ever giving them my address so it looks like they've dipped their toes in the mass mailing list game as well. All of those things I could see as likely reasons for some having that for-profit perception of them. The approach SNHU used to combat that was hammering home their non-profit status in their TV campaign and some of their other promotions. I see that out-front mentioning of non-profit status with a lot with other schools, too. It's practically become a necessity now because of the public perception issues.

    In a similar vein, I see a lot of the same kinds of ads for Harvard Extension these days. That may be the one school that surprised me, but that too is probably my perception of their whole organization making it a point of surprise.
     
  11. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    That's what bothers me the most for people in that situation. I know Neuhaus told me once that a lot of the things we hear online about recruiting aren't worth worrying about because it isn't as widespread as some would lead us to believe. But it still stinks to know there are recruiters who will just see a school name, or see it was an online program, or any number of other things and just block out people who are overall qualified. I get that there has to be a filtering process, but some of the things I've read just sound more like personal vendettas.
     
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  12. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Although it's not as bad as it used to be, and the public perception has improved a lot toward online programs, I tend to agree that full acceptance is still in the distance (no pun intended).
     
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes, because that approach to the doctorate is not designed to start one on a path towards an academic career. It's not the tax status or reputation of the school, although the latter might affect things. It's because you don't do all the things on-campus students do to grow their career prospects. And, if you've done a DL doctorate, you're probably a practitioner and not a scholar. They (traditional universities) don't want you.

    (Always exceptions to these rules, of course. YMMV.)
     

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