Aspen's DSc Computer Science - Anybody Enrolled!

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jaiho, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The guy is doing two doctorates from similar schools. 9 credits out 18 were transferred from his DBA. In any case, I would finish the CalUniversity one and cut my losses with Aspen.
    I don't see the point of getting two doctorates from schools with similar reputations.

    If the gentleman in question wanted to boost his resume, I would put the 7K that he is spending now with Aspen and get a graduate certificate from Stanford (it might cost a bit more than 7K). At least this way, he can call himself both a Dr and a graduate of Stanford and this together might be enough to give credibility to his resume.
  2. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    Good find! I like the idea of adding a Stanford graduate certificate program!

    The Doctor of Science is an academic research degree. Aspen University is a nationally accredited school and the curriculum looks very rigorous (advanced algorithms, programming, research, etc)! Perhaps some limited utility in academics as you suggest but by no means an embarrassing addition to anyone's curriculum vitae!
  3. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Nobody should be embarrased by showing effort of self improvement. I think you can always learn something new from any program.

    However, one has to be careful when selecting a program in particular if you want to be a professor. Don't forget that unlike professionals, your credentials are displayed for everyone to see if you become an academic. Reseach grant applications normally require you to submit your resume and your education credentials play a big role when a decision is made for granting you the money. Many research associations (e.g. IEEE) will not grant you fellow status if your credentials are weak.

    In few words, I would rather a strong degree from a recognized Indian school that nobody would be able to undermine than a degree that can make people skeptical about your qualifications.

    I understand that our Indian friend has decided to go the US mainly he wants to improve his profile but in my opinion he might be doing the opposite.
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I don't think Jaiho's plan is as bad as some of you all do.

    Jaiho is from India, works as a faculty member at a university in India, and thus presumably already knows that universities in India offer doctoral programs. Yet he's chosen to get credentials from Aspen and CalUniversity anyway, even though they're four times as expensive. Maybe he's the best one to judge how those credentials will be received in his own field in his own country?

    One thing I do know is that India's shortage of PhD holders is enormous. Jaiho's not kidding that even if this doctorate is marginal, it's better than the nothing that most of his competitors will have.
  5. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    I agree with Steve. There is a cultural aspect to higher education and its acceptability. Perhaps some of the issues offshore USA are:
    1. Is the degree USDOE recognized - Yes it is (National and RA debate means little outside the US s long as USDOE recognizes the degree);
    2. It ticks the box as a Doctorate - Question is what publications does the candidate have and in what journals. These are very important for academia here, more so than where the degree came from.

    3. What industry recognition does the candidate have?

    The critical issues are (1) Does he/she have a legitimate Doctorate - It is not immediately fatal in all cases, if he/she does not as the next two issues are more important, (2) Publications in peer reviewed premier journals, (3) Industry recognition - within university and general industry circles.

    Recently, I was on a selection panel for admittedly a non academic position, however, there was one candidate from the US who presented the argument that she should be considered because her degree was from a prestiguous business school. There was a very perplexed response from the rest of the panel who did not think that was a critical factor. A case study in Cultural differences. Nobody was interested in that - the work experience was everything - recognition in industry ranked way, way higher.

    I am sure India dances to its own beat and the factors that consititute successful candidature for Associate Professorship there are weighed within a unique cultural framework.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I wouldn't go that far. For example, UK-NARIC recognizes American credentials that are regionally accredited but not nationally accredited. It's been suggested that India's system is similar.

    But as you say, different places dance to their own beat. And in some places, people ignore the beat when it's out of rhythm. What I mean by that is that what the regulations are and what people actually do are not always the same. For an Indian example, for a while those at UGC said there could be no doctoral programs offered by distance, but IGNOU's leaders simply ignored that stupid rule and offered them anyway. So it's entirely plausible to me that even if officially the Indian system doesn't recognize doctorates from nationally accredited American schools, it would still be a big help to Jaiho professionally to earn one. (Especially since, as we've noted, most of the people seeking the same positions won't even have that!)
  7. dl_mba

    dl_mba Member

    US accreditation ignorance is fast changing in India. For example: There are many Tier I & II Business schools working on getting AACSB/EQUIS accreditation. I know a few in academia who have a very clear understanding of differences between RA and NA (all this is due to education globalization). In a few years from now Indian schools will be a little more careful in selecting RA/NA graduates.
  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    My point is that I don't see why someone would need two doctorates from low tier institutions. As he is already advanced in one (CAlUniversity), he could save his money and forget about the Aspen doctorate.
    If the market is really strong as he claims, one doctorate from a low tier school should be enough to land him the job.

    I agree that timing is everything, we have analyzed in this forum the fact that many faculty members that hold full time positions in the US hold doctorates from places like CCU or PWU. It is likely that many were able to secure such positions because upon a time doctorates were rare in the US.

    Our friend is playing with time, his bet is that as long as he can come up with a doctorate fast, he can secure a faculty position. His assumption is that any legal doctorate would work in India but again may be this assumption is invalid. He would need to make sure that a DETC doctorate can satisfy the requirement for an academic position in India.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Eventually, but not for a very long time. Considering the magnitude of the PhD shortage there or how much growth in the sector is happening to try to meet the overwhelming demand for higher education, I would agree that the uppermost echelon may be in a position to care about these things, but it will take decades for the sector to catch up when it comes to all lecturers having doctorates.

    And even then the assumption is that other countries' systems won't change their view on national accreditation. The trend on them seems to be inching toward greater acceptance here in the U.S. It's not unreasonable to think that other countries will follow suit. (Although no, it wouldn't be wise to base one's decision on that.)

    Hmm, that's a good point. Agreed.
  10. dl_mba

    dl_mba Member

    As far as i know, Indians are one Very Smart bunch of people. There was a time in the past, all the best Universities in the world used to be India. Did some research, Indian Private Universities have already started offering UGC/AICTE accredited Part-time PhD programs. I personally respect Indian PhD's as it is not easy to get one compared to our Online-only .COM schools. Things will change in India soon and a lot more Indian students will study in their own schools. Its very easy to get admission in our Tier I schools compared to TierI and II schools in India. People who try to use their DETC Doctorates will be cheating the Indian system for now when those degrees are not deemed same as UGC/AICTE Doctorates. We are wrong, any US degree is not regarded valuable in India unless the receiving party/school is ignorant.

    Some accredited schools offering part-time PhD's in India (including an IIT):

    Academic Programmes / Ph. D. (External) (Private)
    phd (public)
    Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kanpur (elite school)
    (Candidates sponsored by organizations in Kanpur may be eligible for a part-time PhD program.)
  11. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Yes, you are correct Ted. If anyone else has any doubts, they can see this post from the "Can Aspen University Survive?" post. See below:

    Copied and pasted below:

    Michael Mathews
    Registered User Join Date Apr 2012 (post date 4/4/2012)

    Good morning Randy, thanks for your post. This is Michael Mathews, Chairman & CEO of Aspen University. Allow me to respond to your questions, which should convince you Aspen is far from being "in deep trouble."

    Based on the Form 8-K you reference, our University is now a publicly traded company (Bulletin Board: ELIT.OB), which we certainly wouldn't have just implemented if we didn't have a well thought out financial plan. If you study the balance sheet, the answer to your question should become clearer. Aspen University raised ~$3.4mm of equity in 2011, while our operating loss was ~$2mm, so we raised significantly more cash than our planned loss (in fact, 70% more cash than our loss.) Also note that the University ended the year with $776K cash on the balance sheet. Additionally, please refer to footnote #1 of the Financial Statements, in which the University discloses that since 2012 began, we raised an additional $450K of capital. Finally, we have engaged an investment bank to raise an additional $6 million of capital over the next 2 quarters.

    Separately, auditors are required to express what’s called a 'going concern opinion' for any company that suffers an operating loss -- that’s standard practice.

    I would welcome anyone on this forum, should you have any questions about Aspen University, to contact me directly at [email protected] or call my office at 800-571-8917.

    Thank you.

    Michael Mathews
    Chairman & CEO
    Aspen University
  12. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member


    I suggest you look at post #31 (above) in this thread. You are calling Aspen a dead school?

  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    IIT is a prestigious school but it doesn't see to have an off campus option:

    "Currently there is no plan for an off-campus PhD program."

    From what I have heard, this type of programs are very competitive. This is far from the fill up an online form with your credit card information requirement from Aspen Univesity.

    I wonder if professors at Aspen actually publish research and hold doctorates from traditional schools. There are no faculty members lists in their web site nor a list of publications coming from this school.

    The program requirements are also not very conventional for a computer science degree. It requires courses in basic economics and operations managment that are normally MBA requirements.

    Also, some of the courses are at the undegraduate level (Discrete mathematics work and algorithm design) and others are not very standard for a graduate program (e.g. computer ethics).

    It seems to me that the program was designed to attact non computer science graduates (e.g. MBAs). I found this lady that it seems to be in real estate that is doing this "Doctorate"
  14. dcullen

    dcullen New Member

    Yes, I am one of the few, or so it seems, to be enrolled in the DSCS program at Aspen. I see there are some lengthy discussions going on here about the legitimacy of my school and the program, so I hope to dispel some of the negative rumors being spread on these boards. A lot of what I'm detecting from your posts is anti-DL/pro-RA sentiment, of which I prefer not to participate. But, since you’ve specifically called me out on it, I feel the need to defend myself and Aspen from your bashing. Not only are your ill-advised remarks leaving an unfair impression of Aspen for prospective new students, they are disrespectful of current students, professors, and the institution. Bottom line: You get what you put into learning, just like everything else.

    I have completed the DSCS research courses (15 credits) and will be starting the core courses next month. I completed my master's degree at Full Sail University in Education Media Design and Technology online as well. The Aspen program, although it has been less interactive, has met my expectations thus far, and I would recommend it to anyone that is self-motivated and works well independently. The support from the registrar and student advisors has been very good, and the instructors are available for questions should the need arise. I have had decent feedback on papers, although I think most have been reviewed for completion vs. content. The writing requirements take some getting used to and are challenging enough. At this point, I have honed my interests to the human interface design side of computer science. I credit the Aspen coursework for leading me in this direction, so I would say the DSCS "Doctorate" program is working out well for me, thank you very much.
  15. gbrogan

    gbrogan Member

    Calling the discussion on this board "negative rumors" is incorrect. As a graduate of Aspen, I had a terrific experience there and considered enrolling in a second Masters program. Many participants on this forum also completed programs there and back when they had a super tuition deal there was a lot of buzz about the school here.

    The vague answer to questions about the January DETC re-accreditation process is alarming. I get that as a current student you have a vested interest and are defensive about "your" school. I also have a vested interest as a graduate with a Masters degree that may have to explain that it was obtained at a defunct school if the powers that be over there run it into the ground.

    Something is going on and I'm concerned that the school is not going in a good direction. Aspen has always enjoyed a very good reputation on this forum so the idea that posters here are trying to bring down the school is an incorrect one.
  16. TheTick900

    TheTick900 New Member

    I just enrolled in this program and I start 1/13 of this year. I am quite excited to start in the program!
  17. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Good luck, and keep us posted!
  18. TheTick900

    TheTick900 New Member

    I have completed my first course in the program and here are a few of my thoughts:
    The degree program is meeting my needs significantly. The first course I took was Doctoral Writing and Inquiry into Research. The homework assignments were very challenging and required me to write papers that were, at minimum, 2000 words, with APA style formatting for internal citations and required legtimiate peer reviewed journals and articles.
    The most disappointing part of that course was the instructor, who did not participate in the discussion forums and he gave very generic feedback on the homework assignments that were submitted.
    However, if you follow the course curriculum, you should find a potential research project for the dissertation at the tail end.
    The price of the program was also a huge draw for me: since I am a veteran, I was able to get a discount. The total cost of the program should total to be $15K excluding the cost of books.
    Am I going to teach after the end of this program? No, but that is not my goal after getting the degree. I think I am best suited to get promoted in the corporate world, or in the government.
  19. Sciencemathematics1

    Sciencemathematics1 New Member

    Are you sure that they are undergraduate level? The courses are level 900. I am not sure about this, but I do think that it could be that they are going more in depth for these topics and teaching the concepts on a higher level and teaching more advanced material in the same subject which one would not learn in undergraduate study. I think that graduate programs generally do that when it comes to teaching subjects which were introduced in undergraduate studies which are also taught in graduate studies.
    This website shows somebody who is completing the program. They also have notes for textbooks of a few classes filled out and one of them is the discrete mathematics.

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