Educating Sgt. Pantzke

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by TCord1964, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    PBS' Frontline aired a pretty damning report on the use of GI Bill money being used to fund military veterans' studies at for-profit schools. The main bone of contention is that many soldiers are being accepted at these schools and then later dropped (or they fail) because they aren't ready to study online and the poor hiring rates and salaries of for-profit school grads. Usually I don't put much stock in these reports, but this one was more detailed and dug a little deeper than the usual hatchet job on for-profit schools. One veteran said he had called 30 HR people in a week and asked if they had a choice of two candidates with similar job experience, but one went to a state school and the other had a degree from a for-profit college, which would they hire? In every case, the HR person said they would take the student who graduated from a B&M school.

    I was leaning heavily toward getting my MS in Marketing from Ashworth after I get my BS in Communications from Excelsior, but I am now rethinking those plans and will likely lean toward an online degree from a well-known B&M school. If HR people are that biased, why create another barrier for myself?

    You can view the report on the PBS Frontline web page.
  2. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, if you can get the same degree from a school that, as they say, has a football team, you are better off.
  3. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I completely agree, and that is an interesting way to phrase that SurfDoctor, lol.

    There are a few other tips on things to avoid, but some people here on DegreeInfo get a bit upset when I voice my opinions, so I'll spare the forum my response and you can pm me if you'd like to hear them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2011
  4. Shal916

    Shal916 New Member

    Ok so this was a nice clip to see and understand However, I see this clip and also see some biased opinions towards the for-profits. First thing that we have to understand is that no matter if its not-for-profit or for-profit, if ones education institute is mainly online it will not match up to a B&M school in the eyes of employers. For many "HR" departments when they see a potential employee from a college or university that they are not similar with and another potential employee with a educational degree of the same type from a state or well known private institution they will choose the state or well known institution. For example, we can put a person with a Masters degree in Business from Excelsior college (which is not-for-profit) and one person with a Masters degree in Business from Colorado State University, a HR department will mostly choose the state university not because Excelsior education is bad or good but just because the state university sounds like a better institution.

    Also mentioned in the clip is Westwood College credits not transfering and the college "lied to him" about his credits transfering. All educational institutions have a right to accept or decline credits. He signed the line that said Westwood College does not guarantee transfer of credits. I see the same statement on many state university websites. So he knew about the credits not transfering and he know that it would be a problem for him then why did he proceed with the admission. You see a train coming at you and you know is going to hit you if you don't get off the tracks but a person tells you no it won't so you stay on the tracks??? A person needs to use their own judgement in life!!! Yes it is true that for-profits work harder to "recruit" students into their programs. Yes they might be more geared towards sales and making quotas. But we have to remember these colleges or universities are nationally or regionally accredited by the same organizations that accredit the state and private not-for-profits.

    Furthermore, the clip kept saying students who went to these schools were not obtaining jobs and were unemployed even after the degree. I can tell from my own exp. that a vet. coming out of the army who completed a degree from a state university, a not-for-profit private, or for-profit institution will not get a welcoming party from an employer with just a background in shooting an AR-15 or M-5. A degree is a great resume builder but it is very hard for a new person getting into the workforce with just a degree and no work exp. to get a 80K job.

    I know that it is wrong to target our vets and use all of their G.I. Bill and put them under student loans, but not all for-profits are "FISHY". If all online education was bad then why are we seeing that so many state and private not-for-profit B&M are going online. I think that it is great to get a degree from a B&M College with a football team (WINK WINK) but many people might not have that option. So the online system is a great substitute for traditional educational model. This clip has many solid facts in it, but there are many biased opinions and single situations that are being dumped onto the for-profits. As they say in law enforcement," if citizens see that one cop is shady all cops are shady". In this clip they are making people think that if one or two for-profit schools are shady all of them are.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2011
  5. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    If you can get the same degree from a B&M institution (online through distance learning) that you can from an online for-profit institution, who in their right mind would even think more than a second on it?

    With the information available you put yourself behind the 8-ball in pursuing a degree from an online school. Bad move, if all things are equal.

    There are a lot of schools out there that are inexpensive, have good reputations (even if they are local reps), a solid B&M campus and offer online degrees.

    The thing with the military is that most of the adversitsements you see for schools in the Military Times are online for-profits. Military members getting a degree are looking for a less obtrusive way to earn the paper. Flexible schedules, online, shorter terms, credit for military training, etc, etc.

    Generally at every base there are schools local to that area who will have a satellite campus on base. But, there are more barriers to enry for traditional schools than for the online schools.

    Going back to the point on credits for military training. Most schools accept them, if they are ACE accredited, but do not advertise that fact. Most traditional B&M schools will allow you as much transfer credit as most online schools (not counting the Big 3).

    For-profits make it easier for the service member to use tuition assistance, register for courses and take courses. It's really the ease with which you can get started that is the allure of the for-profit online schools.
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    As I read these stories of non-profit and for-profit bias I have to think about my situation and what to do if I were to be looking for a job (something I hope does not happen in the near future). I cannot deny there is a bias against schools but I do not think it is that all for-profits should be lumped together. I think some schools are synonymous for for-pofits (like University of Phoenix) and may have a tendency to give all for-profits a bad reputation.

    I completed my MS-ITM from Touro University International. It was a private non-profit tied to a B&M school (Touro College) at the time. The diploma states:
    Touro University International (branch campus of Touro College, New York)

    One of the reasons I picked TUI was because it was tied to a well respected B&M school. So, how you would list that on a resume so if it someone Googled the name (I would hope an HR staff is a little more sophisticated then that), it would not just appear to be a solely online school. I put a lot of time and effort into making a choice with my MS degree and feel like the rug was pulled out from under me! The opinions cold be-

    •MS in IT Management – Touro University International, 2004


    •MS in IT Management – Touro College (TUI Branch Campus), 2004

    Touro College does not have my transcripts or any record of me, it all resides with TUI / Trident now. I realize that NCU (PhD) and Trident (MBA) are solely online schools but that is not an issue as I would not list all my degree on a resume for a corporate job. So…am I over thinking this?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2011
  7. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I'll add to this that even graduates with in-person degrees from solid B&M schools are not having an easy time of finding a job

    I agree, this is the most important factor. Unfortunately, common sense is not all that common.
  8. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I agree, UoP and a few others are giving all online ed a bad name. The worst thing I see is that many uninformed people do not differentiate between real, rigorous schools and the degree mills. They hear the word "online" and instantly think you bought your degree for $50 from some form of mill.

    I cannot express how much that sucks! What a bum deal.

    With all of that, they are still something to be extremely proud of. I would list them all proudly.
  9. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Bifurcation. If I made a poll offering the choice between dating one of a set of twin heiresses, one was to inherit $1 million and the other was to inherit $2 million, which one would you choose? I'm sure that nearly everyone would, in the poll, choose the latter. In real life, however, there is more to both of them than what goes on paper, even with genetics being equal. Then there is the fact that some people taking the poll may already be committed to someone else, or committed to being single for the time being. The results of the poll, which offers only two hypothetical choices, would be significantly different than how the situation would turn out in real life.

    There is a similar flaw to the informal poll you mentioned. If your resume is good enough to get the interview, even if your degree doesn't look as good on paper as someone else's, you can demonstrate your intangibles and your desirable assets which set yourself apart from anyone else they are considering to hire. In fact, there is even more to the resume itself than just experience and education. Let's make a poll asking HR if they would prefer to hire someone with a Harvard MBA or someone with an Ashworth MBA? But wait... what if the one with an MBA from Ashworth speaks four languages and has an undergrad degree in computer science and the one who has an MBA from Harvard speaks one language and has an undergraduate degree in Psychology. All other things being equal, the one most qualified for the job depends really on what job we are talking about.

    Obviously, it is up to you alone to decide what works best for your life, but I don't see how getting another degree would be a barrier. If anything, it will open a completely new door, but not as widely as that of a degree from more well-known school. Still, your second condition will be better than the first, and if Ashworth offers a program that you can afford and you feel confident you will follow through with, it is likely better than another program that will be more expensive and less enjoyable.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2011
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    In 2006, the University of Phoenix paid $154,500,000 so that the Arizona Cardinals would play home games in "University of Phoenix Stadium" for 20 years.

    So UoP has calculated that just having its name on a B&M football stadium will add several million dollars per year to its bottom line. This approach is probably less expensive than actually fielding a college football team, and yet yields many of the same benefits.
  11. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Not a good example, because an HR dept. could prefer the Colorado State MBA for other reasons as well:

    - The Colorado State online MBA program is significantly more selective in admissions, requiring a minimum GPA, professional references, and (for some applicants) GMAT scores. Excelsior will admit anyone with a bachelor's degree.

    - The Colorado State MBA program has more prestigious accreditation than the Excelsior program: AACSB vs IACBE.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2011
  12. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    If you can find a distance program from a B&M school and you still choose the program from the online school, I have no sympathy for you when you're struggling to land interviews. There is enough information out there for someone to make an informed decision.
  13. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I think there is a compromise that one may consider.

    Many B&M state universities will accept persons in to completion of the degree so I think a solder can earn 70 or 75 % in RA for profit school and then transfer to State school. I hear that state schools are friendly to the military and in many cases will accept transfer credit.

    Also some for profit schools like UoP have B&M campuses as well. So maybe we should call public or good name recognized traditional university that also my have degrees on line.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2011
  14. Fortunato

    Fortunato Member

    Transferring credit from for-profit (RA) schools to non-profit schools may be possible, but the point of the PBS special (as well as every other "expose" of for-profit education) is that these schools agressively market to low-information students (military, late-night and daytime TV audiences, etc.) and then proceed to extract every single possible dollar out of them while spending as little as they possibly can on education and still hold on to their accreditation (which may have been obtained by reanimating the corpse of a failed/failing non-profit private school). These students are then graduating and finding that their degrees are of limited utility in the real world. With tons of student loan debt and/or with their military education benefits exhausted, the "alumni" of these institutions are finding themselves over the proverbial barrel.

    Despite the howls to the contrary from folks on this board who've gone down the for-profit route, there does exist a bias against online education in general and for-profit schools in particular. I think that can be changed (see Dr. Lady's attempts to do so at Aspen and now Taft as a great example of schools delivering real value for their students), but as long as the people who are in charge of the for-profits maximize their short-term gains at the expense of their students' futures, then I don't see it changing anytime soon.

    What's really frustrating is that the military allows its members to be victimized this way. I know for a fact that soldiers are continually warned about other financial scams like payday lending and easy credit (and they also routinely ignore these warnings, hence the proliferation of payday lenders and buy here pay here car lots in military towns), but EVERY military base has a Base Education Officer in charge of helping military students with their higher education goals. It seems to me that the very first order of business for someone in that role would be to ensure that soldiers don't waste their education benefits on degrees of limited utility, and that they would steer these kids into programs that will provide a better return on what is, after all, the taxpayer's investment.

    At first glance, I tend to agree with AuTiger00's take on things. However, I do realize that not everyone is as serious about DL as we are, yet many, many people are subject to the same constraints that led us all to look into distance learning in the first place. If the only online school you know about is UoP, when it comes time to study online, you're headed to UoP. The problem is getting the word out about quality programs that cost less and deliver more.
  15. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Many for profit schools provide good service and flexibility beyond the state bureaucratic systems.

    I had many encounters with large state schools that simply behemoth, a solder is looking for flexibility. As to quality let me tell you something.
    State schools are famous for partying, sorority drunken and fornication also not all of them have good name with HR departments.

    I think the quality in UC system is better then Cal State also USC is not Cal State LA etc.

    My point is DL degree from a state university is not always associated with quality in many cases, our HR associates discriminate against state schools they think that these are not always quality institutions. SOme are good and many are weak.

    They look for name school recognition, USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley even UC Davis is so so in their sight, the same goes for NYU and NYSU, Pen State may be exception but most other state universities are so so and ranked the same as UoP in their sight.
    Only today they told me that they like a candidate from Peperdine university over Cal State LB if all other things equal. The HR manager is University of Rochester grad and he told me a wile ego that name recognition is perceived above state or any other.
    Some state universities are laugh at by the HR.

    On one of them a SR HR professional said - this place produces junk.

    So this is what I have to to say to our solders. Do you homework and compare apples to apples. I would like our military to have access to the best colleges.
    IF the only option you have is to use your GI bill to go to a flexible school, that is RA for profit, its better to have the degree then not to have degree, its better open 70% of the doors then 30%.

    Try to find B&M school with name recognition that will deliver a flexible DL degree program.

    Maybe this board can come up with a well researched unbiased list of such schools to help our military?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2011
  16. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    Amen to all that.

    Sounds to me like the Frontline report was pretty slanted as well-- aimed to be damning of for-profits. Did they list any success stories? I'm sure there have to be at least a few of these-- either direct or indirect (e.g. soldier finishes BA @ for-profit then goes on to complete master's @ B&M). For-profits are just another media target at the moment-- so much so that I wonder if some of these outlets have slow news days with nothing better to report on. Isn't Paris Hilton getting a hairdo or something? :)
  17. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    When the rate of failure (immense debt, difficulty finding a job, etc.) is drastically higher for for-profit alums vs. B&M alums it's not the media attacking, it's exposing a problem that needs to be addressed. I get that some people here have degrees from these schools and feel a need to defend those institutions, but the fact is these schools are not as well regarded as traditional schools by the people who matter most; hiring managers, HR professionals, people who sit on grad school AdComms, etc. I'm sure some for-profit schools are fine and provide a decent education, but when that isn't the perception of people in positions of authority is it really worth attending when other options without this stigma are available?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2011
  18. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    There are number of "traditional schools " that are not good. So its not just for profit vs traditional. Its Schools need to be ranked.
    I see that you and other posters don't list sate schools among your credentials.
    For a manager who wants an MBA its different then some one who wants to become a manager.

    I see Engineering grads from state universities jobless and ITT, Devry etc Engineering grands happily employed.

    Not all for profits are that expansive and some traditional will take you to the cleaners.
  19. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Its not the HR but the hiring manager and his manager who rally make the hiring decisions.
  20. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    Glad you did that edit. I understand your passion on the subject, but that first take was. . . a little strong (it landed in my E-mail!!).

    There are certainly issues to be addressed. Accreditation for these schools probably needs to be tightened up a bit and revisited more frequently. Funding from any government source needs to be awarded based on performance criteria. Those things don't take away from the notion that these schools have become an episodic "villain of the day" in the media-- a popular target of the moment. (I have political viewpoints related to how the media perceives these as well, but I should take that to the off-topic forum.)

    I haven't attended for-profit DL schools yet, but two non-profits. I feel a strong desire (though not a need) to defend them because: (1) as long as it's considered a legitimate business activity they generally have a right to exist and operate peaceably; (2) they provide options (e.g. programs, cost, financing, study flexibility) that may not be available from formal B&M programs; (3) I think traditional B&M could use a little competition.

    True, but: You're not going to change the attitudes of people regarding a given methodology unless it becomes mainstream or is otherwise demonstrated to meet expectations. In general, Internet-centric DL (profit or not) faces stigmas because not enough people have been educated about it or otherwise exposed to it. The more people exercise these options, the more these options can be brought into the mainstream-- even if there are some growing pains or controversies along the way. (Other Internet-centric activities have gone through similar transitions, e.g. online dating.) At moments, trying to participate in methodologies that are slowly gaining momentum may seem like jousting with windmills-- hopefully, in the long-haul hopefully others will benefit.

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