Am I wrong to think that an associate's degree is seen as useless by people in professional life?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by TeacherBelgium, Sep 10, 2020.

  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You know why are they called community colleges? Cause anybody in a community can go, “crackheads, prostitutes, drug dealers, come on in!” Community college is like a disco with books. “Here’s ten dollars, let me get my learn on!”!" -- Chris Rock
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    They are - and they aren't. Two-year degrees in UK are now known as "Foundation Degrees." If the holder wishes, one can usually get him/her into a top-up Bachelor's program. These degrees are often awarded by colleges.
    Mac Juli and Maniac Craniac like this.
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    A comedian can say anything he damn pleases. But in this forum - I think that it's pretty awful to just throw something like that out. Extremely poor taste, to say the least.

    Lots of us, including me, started our higher ed at Community Colleges. I'm a grad of two, here in Canada. If Chris Rock (or Rich Douglas) believes this, then he's funny, but he doesn't know sh*!
    sideman likes this.
  4. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Without delving all-too-deeply into researching his actual opinions on higher education, I'm pretty sure Chris Rock was doing nothing more than toying with the stereotype as opposed to making serious (satirical) commentary on the state of community colleges.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    IIRC so did Rich Douglas. Oh yes - that was at CCAF - for Air Force Personnel. Off limits to us junkies and lowlifes -we had to go to civilian colleges.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Very likely he was --- he's a comedian, that's what they do. Now what the heck was Rich Douglas doing? Throwing out a gratuitous insult, maybe?

    BTW - Community Colleges here (Canada) don't seem to have the same stereotype attached. Seriously. Just so you know.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
  7. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    I would like to add that these Foundation Degrees are seen as more vocational, in contrast to the more academic Diplomas of Higher Education (2 years, too).
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Not always. The College about a mile from where I lived in England as a kid offers a Foundation Degree in Psychology. That, to me is an academic discipline. At the top level, it leads to a profession, not just a job. If you say it's vocational because people work in that field --- OK. But in that case, Psychology is BOTH. Foundation degrees - more of them are vocational, possibly - but not exclusively.
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  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    When your argument is based on professional utility, then it absolutely does, since one could just as easily argue that some Bachelor's, Master's, and doctoral degrees are more useful professionally than others.

    Sorry, but between this and that Chris Rock thing that comes across as pretty elitist. An acquaintance earned an Associate degree in medical technology and to hear her family talk about it you'd think she was a surgeon. I used to work with a lot of students at Keiser University who were earning Associate degrees, mostly in allied health fields, and if you'd have told them they weren't earning real degrees they'd have run you out of town on a rail.

    That's not at all an argument that it's not a degree. A minority of IHEs offer doctoral programs, does that mean they're not degrees? And the schools that do award Associate degrees obviously consider them degrees or they wouldn't call them that. What are they, all wrong? Are they lying? Come on.

    Not every bachelor's degree fulfills the prerequisites for graduate school. What impact does that have on the "bachelor's-as-a-degree" argument?
    Johann and Maniac Craniac like this.
  10. Linguaphile89

    Linguaphile89 New Member

    I started off at community college. I did not ultimately earn an associate's degree, but the coursework I undertook there was just as valid as the coursework I took as a sophomore and junior at a state research university. This whole idea of community colleges being not as effective as universities at imparting knowledge or somehow lesser is sooooo in the service the larger IHEs who are resistant to change. This sort of messaging is just the thing they need to continue to charge exorbitant fees. "Hey there, young man! Don't dare get your start at a community college where the *rabble* hang out, you want a real education! Here, pay me ten times as much for the same service".

    I'm sure this comment is (hopefully) somewhat in jest, but the optic that it gives off to people who might endeavor to rectify shortcomings in their educational journeys is really quite negative.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I do not hold it against Mr. Rock that he does not have a college education himself. He was badly bullied in high school, dropped out, subsequently earned his GED and worked at low-paid fast-food jobs, while honing his comedy skills. And as a comedian - he can make fun of a lot of things - he has to. It's his living.

    Fast forward - he's famous and not only that: He made more money by a bit of college-bashing than anybody on this forum ever will. :)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
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  12. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    He's also, as it turns out, a very smart guy. A rather common trait for comedians, it seems. He probably would have done very well in college, sans the obstacles that he had to deal with in high school, but went a different way and had more success than he likely ever would have if he followed the beaten path. The American dream personified.
    Johann likes this.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That's your opinion. I'm glad we both get to express them.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No, I didn't. I've published the story a lot on this board. I didn't "start" at CCAF. CCAF was irrelevant to any other educational accomplishment I had. I earned the degree while I was in grad school working on my MBA.

    CCAF degrees are not very useful. A few have articulation agreements with some schools, but (for the most part) the AAS degrees it awards are considered vocational, causing the student to have to transfer the credits individually (instead being granted 3rd year status). And a lot of the credits do not transfer at all because they are, again, vocational. I'm not putting it down, but I know this stuff from the inside out, not just as a student, but also as an education specialist (enlisted) and education and training officer (commissioned).

    The only use I ever saw for a CCAF degree was the one in Electronic Engineering Technology. It had higher requirements (in math and science), and CCAF had articulation agreements with several schools for graduates to go on for engineering degrees. On occasion, a few of these graduates would earn scholarships to go full-time, and then off to Officer Training School upon graduation. But that program only accepted a couple of dozen people per year, and only a few of them went on the basis of their CCAF degrees. Most qualified from their individual credits earned.

    CCAF got most of its boost culturally. It was a well known that you didn't get promoted to the two highest enlisted grades without having done a CCAF degree, no matter how many other degrees you had. You could have a PhD, but if you didn't have your CCAF associate's, you didn't make senior master sergeant. (I'm sure there were exceptions, and it was never documented--tacit knowledge. But it was very, very real. They're changing that now.)

    I don't want to denigrate anyone's educational accomplishments. And I know I've been too harsh on the associate's degree. But it's because it's almost useless for anyone considering going on to a bachelor's, and hardly useful (again, with a few exceptions) for those who stop there. But don't cite me or my experiences without knowing what you're talking about, please. Thanks.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No, just citing a hilarious bit from a very funny guy. (And a community college drop-out.)
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the insult. Labeling someone "elitist" often comes from a feeling of inadequacy, but that can't possibly apply to you. So I assume this is just a passing blow.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Funny, because I think community colleges are fantastic. Their (relatively) open admissions provide a pathway for many who've been excluded (for whatever reason) from traditional universities. They also provide an affordable pathway towards a bachelor's degree. Their vocational offerings are often much better and much less expensive than private trade schools. Finally, they provide a service to their communities--which I hope contributed to the name change from the more diminutive "junior college."

    When I taught Air Force ROTC at San Diego State, a significant portion of our cadet corps attended community college because getting into SDSU was so hard. A lot of those former students are retired colonels now. I'm sure they appreciate their community college experiences as much as I did in training them to become commissioned officers.
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    He says he spent about a year at community college before moving on to his career in comedy.

    By the way, if one is offended by the comment I quoted, they really, REALLY should avoid listening to the rest of that special. It's about as tame as he gets in it.
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    OK. Chris Rock is the more accomplished comedian - Rich Douglas is the more accomplished scholar. Chris Rock doesn't hold degrees. Rich Douglas isn't very funny.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    And you are not at all judgmental. Thank goodness!

    (Funny how much insult can be thrown at a poster who did not call out a single individual, yet was pilloried anyway. Very nice.)

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