Forget Most Rankings, Find the Right Fit

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Sep 14, 2023.

  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    "The college experience should be transformative, not just transactional. Higher education is as much about character development and learning about civic engagement as it is about career advancement and success in commerce. This means that individuals will find nurturing faculty and personal growth in different environments, that the fit between the person and the campus is essential."
    MasterChief likes this.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    When I have to tell people the source of any of my degrees, I just get a blank stare. Most people don't know and don't care.
    tadj likes this.
  3. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I went to Humber College in Toronto when I turned 18. I was not doing well in most of my classes. Not making friends, despite living in the dorms. I found the campus dreary and depressing. I hated the experience and dropped out after a few months. It took me 3 years to get back to college. I enrolled at Durham College in Oshawa, west of Toronto. I graduated 2 years later with honours as a Social Service Worker (SSW) and studied with awesome people and excellent professors.

    After getting a job at the crisis line where I had been volunteering, I had the opportunity to go back to Humber to deliver training in suicide risk assessment to the Humber College SSW students. I was 25, professionally and personally fulfilled, and yet when I returned to the campus I found it just as dreary and depressing as it was 7 years earlier. I came to the conclusion that nothing I would have studied at Humber would have been the right fit. It wasn't 18 year-old me that was actually the problem, it was the school!

    I always think about this when someone turns down an Ivy League school for a "Public Ivy" or even a state school. Sometimes the environment just isn't right and it's not worth sacrificing your mental health and earning bad grades just to have a specific name on your resume.
    Suss, sideman, Rich Douglas and 4 others like this.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    About a decade ago, I read a wonderful article in the Washington Post related to this subject. It was about fitting into the right kind of college environment. One of the anecdotes was about a woman accepted to Harvard to study engineering. She felt overwhelmed by the Harvard experience, especially since she'd come from humble beginnings. She found herself failing and decided to drop out. Instead, she transferred to the University of Maryland, where she earned her degree in engineering and subsequently had a successful career. Her take? If she'd stayed at Harvard she would have been a failed engineer. By going to Maryland, she became an engineer. That was a better outcome despite having gone to a considerably less prestigious school.

    Never--not--ever--has the source of any of my degrees ever been a problem, with two stupid and irrelevant exceptions.

    First, I just couldn't convince the people who manage officers' education records in the Air Force that I did NOT attend SUNY Albany for my bachelor's degrees, that it was USNY's Regents External Degree Program. They never fixed that. Second, when I did the DSocSci at Leicester, the British QAA and the university both consider it a scholarly degree (not a professional one) equal to (not equivalent or on par with) the PhD. Equal. Yet the chuckleheads at WES insisted that it was a European professional doctorate and their policy was to treat those degrees as "post-master's" but not a doctorate. Clown shoes.
    Suss, chrisjm18 and Dustin like this.

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