Excelsior Degree Plan

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by GLGAmerica, May 16, 2017.

  1. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    My comments are intended for the high school student needing to make choices about her future, not a call for all graduates of the Big Three to defend their degrees. Glad to know you are satisfied with your outcome though. Glad to know you think all education is equal; we can dispense with college ratings now and all just enroll in the quickest, easiest programs.
  2. Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius Active Member

    dlbb, this thread was started by the original poster to chronicle his son's journey to earning a college degree. If you want to debate the merits of earning a degree by testing out or the Big 3, why not start a new thread?
  3. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    Your comments are consistent throughout all of your replies that testing, and the big three model, is not adequate.

    Reading comprehension is also something that is needed for everyone. I didn’t say “education is education and all are equal.” I said “education is education, not indoctrination” referring to your continued assertion that it isn’t about what you are learning but this supposed superior method of being taught how and what to think in a traditional program that everyone else is missing out on.
  4. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    Sorry, JR, but perhaps the Big Three was not the best choice for you if that is what your takeaway is from my various arguments. It has not served you well.
  5. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    I have zero interest in debating the Big Three. I cannot help it if droves of Big Three apologists turn out in my response to one mother writing about opportunities for her daughter. I will refrain from posting further in this thread, as I am sure it will soon be inundated by repetitive comments that are neither relevant nor useful from people who seem unable or unwilling to follow clear, logical arguments. If the mother wishes further comments from me, please private me.
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I make this comment, not as a graduate of one of the Big 3 but as a graduate of a traditional B&M classroom based program:
    I think the piece that dlbb is missing is that everyone is different. Their needs are different, learning styles are different, circumstances are different, etc. dlbb seems to have the belief that because a traditional program is best for him that it must, by definition, be best for everyone. In all the posts that he has made on this general topic, he has a strong tendency to state his opinion as if it is a fact. I've yet to see him provide any evidence that his opinion is valid. I don't mind dlbb having his opinion. He is welcome to believe whatever he wants. However, I think it's bad form to tell other people that they are making a mistake when this opinion is based upon 1) essentially no understanding of the person in question, 2) no real supportive evidence and 3) when first-person contradictory evidence is available.
  7. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    Yes... I clearly have unintelligently misunderstood your position.

    From dlbb, "I would not describe the "testing-out" model as a university experience if that is the totality of their degree. In that case, they would lack the university experience, but may have earned a degree.

    I think there is certainly value in doing some limited amount of testing out, and I would encourage that. To reiterate, it is when a student attempts to satisfy nearly all the requirements of a degree through testing out that they miss out on significant aspects of their education--some of the intangibles that I described, some of which Kizmet alluded to."

    You can "explain" as many different ways as you like but posts like these speak clearly. As Kizmet said, it is fine to have an opinion but.......
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  8. gotmilk

    gotmilk New Member

    dlbb, while I think that perhaps you're a bit overzealous about your opinion, I do appreciate that your immediate thought was to help prevent what you consider to be a potential disaster. I don't necessarily think you're wrong- there absolutely are employers who will look down on a degree from one of the Big Three. I do hope that my kid goes to a more prestigious college later (before my mother fell ill, we were working toward a basketball scholarship to a state university). However, if she doesn't, that's okay.
    My mother was a teacher before she came to the United States. She never claimed her former education because she felt an American one would serve her better. She got a GED and started working on an American college degree. She didn't complete it because she was too busy earning six figures a year with just her GED and the right certifications.
    My daughter will find the thing that works for her. It might be a huge well known university. It might be a local community college. It might be just Excelsior and the right certifications. We are all on different paths and I believe we can all appreciate and can learn things from the varying perspectives of everybody here. :)
    newsongs and SteveFoerster like this.
  9. bceagles

    bceagles Member

    I don't get it? A mother posts about how the CLEP/AP/Big Three approach might benefit her daughter's situation. dlbb offers another perspective (a perspective I appreciate hearing, BTW) and a conversation begins. This is the whole point of this forum / community!

    This is a productive conversation!

    The back and forth of degreeinfo helped me enormously, not just get a degree via one of the Big three, but by helping me navigate thru the numerous considerations.

    I would like for dlbb to not shut down and continue the discussion. I have kids close to entering high school and am already thinking about how and when to introduce CLEPs or to simply focus on APs. dlbb makes some good points about it that has me reconsidering.

    Thanks for everyone's input!
  10. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Dlbb likes to stir the pot with off-topic posts and then say she doesn't want to defend her position when she realizes she can't.

    With that said, I often do not recommend that young people attend the Big 3 and test out of their degrees. I don't even recommend getting a degree fully online. This is where I diverge with dlbb. Dlbb doesn't support testing out of a degree, but she thinks that online courses are just fine. Both methods of earning credits are fine for adults (people around 24 or older), but several studies have shown that traditional-age college students perform worse in online courses.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    The fact is that I don't disagree with dlbb entirely, or even substantially. I prefer classroom based learning myself and feel that I do best in that learning environment. Similarly, I am more productive when I work in an office than when I work from home or on the road. For me, the classroom provides focus and I need to simulate that at home when I study, creating a dedicated space for schoolwork. I also believe that some of the intangibles of the "college experience" have some value, although I think this value can be overblown at times. It is also possible to approximate the "college experience" in other ways. My primary objection is to forcing my opinion onto someone else. If someone tells me that they have decided to buy a Chevy then I will not spend any time trying to talk them out of it unless they ask and then I will tend to point out that they have a range of choices, etc. dlbb has strong opinions and that's ok. But strong opinions tend to be a bit of a lightning rod and so you can't be too surprised if lightning strikes.
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    A lot of the "college experience" stuff is bull and has no real value other than forming memories of social fun. There may be some networking opportunities at prestigious schools. I think the most important thing is that on-campus classes provide more structure and support for young adults. But, some people are on a tight budget. Others thrive in a self-paced format either because they need to go slower with learning or because they need to go faster to avoid losing interest.

    I've come across many impressive homeschooled students in these communities. While completing the requirements for their high school diplomas, they studied college-level material and were able to test out of college credits. So, they were getting a higher level of education than they would have in a regular high school course, and they killed two birds with one stone by testing out of courses they had gone through to finish high school. Some of these students have gone on to prestigious graduate programs in their late teens and early 20s.

    The truth is that the Big 3 are little-known colleges just like most of the 4,000+ colleges in the U.S. There are only about a couple of hundred colleges that will impress people.
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    What is strange is that dlbb thinks that Capella, a for-profit school with an extremely low graduation rate and history of scamming students, is a decent school, but she thinks lowly of the Big 3. I haven't really searched for the success of Excelsior and COSC students taking licensing exams, but I have looked at how TESU and WGU students perform on the CPA exam. Students who complete a master's at WGU have the highest CPA pass rates in Utah among people with advanced degrees. They beat out BYU, not just a bunch of podunk schools. TESU consistently has one of the highest CPA pass rates in New Jersey. For one or two years, they beat out every school in New Jersey.

    These are very independent students who are good at studying for exams, and they're usually gaining real world experience at real jobs while working on their degrees. These typically aren't people who are bad at studying and passing tests.
  14. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    Dlbb does not like to stir the pot; Sanantone is just paraphrasing my description of her frequent, negative and often irrelevant/off topic posts. She seems to have a superficial or misguided understanding of what she posts on it at times; other times she has a very high level of knowledge, showing a sophisticated and nuanced understanding. Why the difference? She likes to stir the pot and keeping active.

    I will make a brief post and then leave it be. Anything else would just be repetitious or needlessly defending what is so readily apparent to me.

    I have taken classes online, some that are great, some that were poor, and some in-between. I have taken classes in brick and mortar classrooms. I have taken IB tests as a high school student, which is similar to AP. I am well informed on all other possibilities, so while I have never taken or would consider the Big Three, I have read many posts about it over the years, investigated it, etc. I have also significant self-learning, so I am familiar with learning on your own, although never for a test. Sometimes this can be much more powerful than in a classroom. Most people who do guided self-learning for a test will not have the same experience as someone who is very motivated and voracious. For some self-learning, it will be very limiting what a normal person can do on their own. Most students are not highly motivated. I think certainly some adults may be much more motivated than someone fresh out of high school, but they still will miss out on skills they could develop from coursework.

    What coursework provides is the creation of relevant deliverables, for whatever type of course you are taking. You don't simply just read about it, ingest it, and take a test. That would be entirely too easy, too simple. Someone may find it challenging, and it could be depending on the subject matter. Other times, it is absurdly simple. In a course, you typically produce a series of significant deliverables related to and appropriate to the subject matter. Say it is a humanities course. You may write a series of research papers, and then it is graded, and you receive significant and substantial feedback, to help you improve. Don't get that good interaction? You probably picked the wrong school, teacher, etc. If you take a series of courses, you will repeatedly create these deliverables, and with good feedback, it will help you grow. Some people here like to push NA or other substandard schools, and you get what you sign up for sometimes. Teacher is lazy and doesn't give good or any feedback? Well, if you are really putting the time into it and it is challenging, you will still grow. If it is not rigorous and just busywork, well, that may not be much, but I guess that's why we have things like RA vs. NA, to help give indications as to quality. We can go further though and look more closely at individual schools, beyond just accreditation, which is more than than just a cursory glance at a web site or Wikipedia page.

    That is just but one example. In other courses, e.g. STEM, you will do rigorous coursework relevant to that, to help develop and hone those skills relevant to that discipline.

    If you are just taking a test, you can skip a lot ot that, if the test is not tied to a class, like AP or IP, that a high school student might take on their own. I did not know students could take AP without being in high school. It is really intended for high school students, and if you have gone beyond that, i.e. graduated, you are going backwards. But I digress.

    Some of the Big Three proponents like to specialize in taking tests. How can I take these easy tests to skip all the relevant coursework and get my credits? Is it better than nothing, absolutely, but it is a far cry from actually going through rigorous coursework. I do well at tests. Would I want to study for and pass all these tests and miss out on more substantive growth I could have? No, I know better. Do I think it is fine to take a few tests and save some money? Sure, why not, but if that becomes your focal point, the only one you are hurting is yourself.

    Why do we care about course work? It helps us to develop necessary skills that can make us useful for the future, whether graduate school, work, or just simply being a person living in a world full of misinformation. Can you process the nonsense that is spread in the media to discern what is real (I don't mean from a political standpoint), or can you look and critically be able to evaluate information on a web site? Do you have computer skills necessary to do work relevant to the kind of job you want? etc. If you are in a humanities based program, do you get analytical, critical thinking, and writing abilities that could serve you well in other areas, such as law? Or if you are in a STEM field, do you get those necessary skills? It's not always what you know, but how it has transformed you and allowed you to develop. A lawyer is not born, but develops those necessary skills through k-12, undergraduate, and then law school, and if you just test out of it all, you just get to bypass a lot of that undergraduate phase. Can you still learn some of those from testing? Well, it depends really on the subject. If it is math, obviously you need to learn those skills to pass the test. Just need to learn information for a history test? You get to bypass nearly all the relevant skills you would have learned. History courses, by the way, is good preparation for law school, because of some of the skills it helps someone develop.

    Trying to do the Big Three and testing out is about the worst thing a young college student could do. What does it prepare them to do? Will some find success, in spite of that, yes. Is getting another degree success? (Some talk about getting master's degrees.) Yes, a form of success, but if that is all it leads to, is it really the success you want? Let's be honest. Most high school students are not academic rock stars. They are average people. They need those skills they will get from coursework to move forward in their lives. (Am I speaking of just humanities or liberal arts--not at all--whatever is relevant to their chosen field.) I have visited (briefly) the sister forum as they call it, and some of the sources of tests really does not impress me as looking particularly rigorous. (Why do we care about rigor? It helps make you improve better. Think of it as weight lifting with weights. Do you want the 5 pound weight, or are you going to push yourself and grow.) Many students hate rigor in actual practice, but part of that is finding a school/degree that offers a level of rigor you can live with and appropriate to your background. If your only criterion for rigor is if it is RA, you are not digging deep enough.

    I write things as fact, because I believe them to be true. Facts is not a word I would chose to use; it is my opinion. It is poor form to write, "I think," "I feel," as it is readily apparent that is what you think; it is redundant and weakens the message. Stating them "as facts" is a persuasive strategy. I could go into great detail, and find sources, etc., but this is a forum, and I really do not care that much. The information is there if you dig deep. What I have done is provided clear, logical arguments that are hopefully simple to follow. If you want supporting studies, sources from scholarly publications, I will leave that as an exercise to someone with the interest.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
    bceagles likes this.
  15. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    I am afraid you poorly represent my ideas once again. To touch on just one point you raise, I never said I thought lowly of the Big Three. I just feel there are better options for young people -- or people of any age. However, for some it is a good path to salvage a degree and move on to the next stage in life. They came from a time long ago before distance learning was popular and part of nearly every major public university. Why stay focused on something that is a relic from another age and simply not the best choice? This doesn't mean I think poorly of it at all. If they meet accreditation standards, great, and yes, I am aware that they do. It's like trying to say a community college is equal to Harvard. Clearly it is not. Does it mean that a community college is bad? No.

    With that, I will return to my self-imposed exile.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    You make a few good points and then you spoil it all with this kind of bullshit. You can’t spend all this time in an argument and then say you don’t care. Stating opinions as facts is not a persuasive strategy, it’s misleading newbies who don’t know enough to spot bullshit when they see it. You don’t cite facts because you have none.
    JBjunior, SteveFoerster and sanantone like this.
  17. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Eight paragraphs follow....
  18. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    It does not take me much energy, time, or thought to type up responses.

    If I present something such as the following:
    Trying to do the Big Three and testing out is about the worst thing a young college student could do
    This is clearly an opinion or a stance. You could come up with objective facts and figures to support that. Maybe they make less money, some objective criteria that demonstrates the education is not as great, etc. That may not be true; those are just examples for which you could go collect objective "evidence." But even had I done so, it will would be an argument, a stance. You could take the opposite stance. As with any arguments, there is not always a clear cut one that is "correct" or a "fact." An individual could make a strong case either way, and this is true for any argument one may make. So by its very nature, this is an opinion, a stance.

    And if you use language like "I think," "I feel," etc., it weakens the message as it means you are not confident enough to state it more boldly. I do not declare it as an opinion because it is the only thing it can be. I would never say I am right and you are wrong. I provide an opinion, and you either agree with it, or not. My primary support is logical support. For instance, I explain some of the reasons why testing is not as useful as it enables you to miss out on coursework. For some degrees or fields, you learn the most by doing, and that would seem very obvious to me. i think if you are engaged in courses where you just memorize and regurgitate content, that is probably a pretty poor course. So this is support that is clear and relevant; it supports my argument. It is not necessary to find facts or figures. This is something that is so readily apparent once you think about it. Do I need to go find a study that states the value of doing coursework? Sure, I could, and perhaps if I were writing a scholarly publication, that would be appropriate. I am sure there are many sources that point out the value of doing coursework (i.e. assignments, homework, deliverables, etc.). But the logical argument flows and is clear and coherent; it clearly "makes sense." So you really should not dismiss it as providing no evidence. Certainly some more bold statements should require very strong evidence, but typically the arguments on this forum I make just require logical support.

    Newbies may be confused if they are do not understand rhetorical devices. What I write is an opinion, an argument, a stance. The degree to which I am persuasive is how successful it is. Of course, people can utilize deceptive means to try to be more persuasive. That certainly may convince some people, but from a logical standpoint, those arguments are very poor. We see that frequently with Sanantone and others where they try to just attack the messenger, as that supposedly means their argument is then invalid. That is a fallacy, however, if you study argumentation at all: ad hominem fallacy. Some on this board resort to other logical fallacies in trying to win arguments.
  19. Katlie

    Katlie New Member


    This is so inspirational.

    Quick question, what would you guys recommend instead of CLEP?
    I am also doing a business degree through Excelsior and would have wanted to take the CLEP exams however those are not available in my country (South Africa), I called CLEP to see if we could figure out a way for me to take the exams without having to travel to another country where there are testing centres, they said I should approach universities or colleges here to open a CLEP testing centre, I am not up for that process and it is going to take a long time.
  20. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    Head over to the other site. There are a lot of alternatives including ACE, ALEKS, study.com, StraighterLine.com, etc. that will get you the same credit in a similar way.

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