FREE Masters Degree! (CA State Authorized by BPPE)

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AsianStew, Jun 20, 2022.

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  1. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Well, just came across a FREE Masters degree! With a catch-22 phrase of course! Doh!
    No tuition until you're hired (high paying job)! Yeah, how does that work anyways?
    Would it be "free" if the job isn't as high paying as the one I want or the one I have right now?
    Basically - They have 3 masters degree options for the picking, and all three are exactly what I want...

    MSc. in CS - AI & Machine Learning
    MSc. in CS - Data Science
    MSc. in Digital Marketing

    Just going to go through a few more of these BPPE authorized degrees and see what I come up with later!
    Link: Admission and Tuition - Contemporary Technology University (contech.university)
     
    Dustin likes this.
  2. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    There are boot camps with better names (Flatiron, Lambda, Berkeley) that have similar "don't pay until you make xyz" tuition plans. For $20K and a year of your life you could earn an MS at Eastern or Georgia Tech, and defer your student loans while you're enrolled plus 6 months. If the industry is as hot as they're saying, graduates will get snapped up quickly and therefore the no-payment guarantee isn't really important.

    I'm not a big fan of the name or the choice of a non-typical TLD either.

    On this page the "before" picture is a guy in a suit, while the "after" picture is a guy dressed business casual, what's the implication there? https://contech.university/master-of-science-in-computer-science-ai-and-machine-learning/

    This image says "Phyton Foundations", it's literally the first bubble: https://contech.university/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/AI-structure-01-1-1024x720.png

    The curriculum also doesn't make sense. For the specialization in AI/ML you learn ML Fundamentals and then randomly Reinforcement Learning, before adding AI with TensorFlow. The AI curriculum should come before the Reinforcement Learning, which is a subtopic under AI.

    For the specialization in Data Science, they do ML Fundamentals which includes KNN, error metrics like MSE and RMSE, hyperparameter optimization and k-fold cross-validation. That's a little bit of what I'd expect to see but a lot is missing. The next module, Deep Learning covers logistic regression and k-means clustering, overfitting, bias-variance tradeoff, sensitivity and specificity, clustering (again?!), and deep neural networks using sklearn. Most of that should have been in the Fundamentals course. They haven't even covered a number of prominent algorithms.

    Then, in the "Data Algorithms and NLP" course, they cover Naive Bayes and the KNN - again. Color me unimpressed. No discussion of linear regression, the most basic of techniques and a key to understanding logistic regression. No discussion of decision trees, SVMs, boosting, feature selection or engineering, or many of the other topics you'd expect to find in a standard ML/DS program.

    I'd save your money.
     
    chrisjm18, Johann and Maniac Craniac like this.
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Phyton is Greek for 'plant.' What have these guys been growing?? :D

    BPPE? Oh, whatever! This is an unaccredited school. No more, no less.
     
    Dustin likes this.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The California BPPVE has sunsetted unaccredited schools. They must be on a track towards accreditation--as attested by a recognized accreditor, or they have to shut down. The state hasn't actually ordered any schools shut yet, but many have closed anticipating it.

    Most don't have the financial resources to satisfy WASC, and don't have the cookie-cutter course-in-a-box approach expected by DETC. With the ACICS implosion, there just aren't any options for many of these small, independent, tuition-based schools.

    California hasn't been serious about regulating higher education since it got rid of its 3-tier system decades ago. That move shut down some obvious--and not-so-obvious--mills, but it also meant the state had many more schools to monitor. It never bothered to allocate the resources necessary, and California Approval went from being cherished and valuable to a few schools to being perfunctory for all. Instead of rectifying that, the state instead is copping out and handing it to accrediting agencies who, in turn, really want little to do with these schools.
     
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    All true - except one small detail: it's the successor agency, BPPE that implemented the 'sunset' on unaccredited schools. BPPVE reached its own "sunset" date, set by State law some time previously. After that, there were a couple of years of lawless, "no sheriff in town" shenanigans before BPPE was convened. The hiatus attracted all sorts of unaccredited gunslingers to town, like Breyer State, which blew in from Alabama and subsequenty drifted on - to Panama, that time, IIRC.

    Then, the new sheriff, BBPE moseyed in, looked all the cowboys in the eye and said "Accredit or die." Most did one or the other, eventually. Some "got religion" and applied to TRACS. Some lesser National accreditors got a few calls. Some schools made the cut. Some of the ones that didn't, tried ASIC. and that wasn't, of course, sufficient.

    The part here that strikes me as really dumb, is that the BPPE licensed this school in 2021, when its own hammer had already fallen. Schools were under orders to "accredit or die" quite a while before this "Uni" received permission to operate. Why was the BPPE perpetuating the folly, by permitting new schools to operate, which it knew it would have to close down shortly?

    Summary. Not a good find.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And if you see a BPPE approval - and nothing else - run. The school may very well be gone before you finish your degree. If they've applied for accreditation -- I'd wait and see.
     
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  7. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Not at all what I would call "free".
     
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  8. Vicki

    Vicki Active Member

    CONtech. So… it’s a con? :p
     
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  9. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Also they consider high paying as 30K a year. Most Bachelor's degree holders are already making that:

    https://contech.university/study-now-pay-later/

    Also this is concerning (emphasis mine)

     
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    No, thanks.
     
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  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    THIS SOUNDS SUSPICIOUSLY LIKE ALIMONY! :eek:
     
  12. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I thought they no longer approve unaccredited higher education schools?

    Isn't minimum standards established by the Bureau - require recognized accreditation?
    Or there is time given to become accredited within time limit?

    * "Approval" or "approval to operate" means that the Bureau has determined and certified that an institution meets minimum standards established by the Bureau for integrity, financial stability, and educational quality, including the offering of bona fide instruction by qualified faculty and the appropriate assessment of students' achievement prior to, during, and at the end of its program.
     
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    This appears to be the same wording used by the BPPE, prior to the ruling that all unaccredited institutions would have to accredit by certain dates, determined by BPPE. Before the ruling, the Bureau itself did set minimum standards - and granted permission to schools that met and maintained them.

    That's no longer the case, of course and I wonder why the Bureau permitted this school in 2021. That was well into the era of final dates for "accredit or die."

    I think the BPPE is taking a nap. It's been pretty dormant apparently and its once-extended sunset may have occurred. I'm not sure. I thought the last extension (2016) ran out in 2020. Try the phone - see if it's still connected. Any answer?

    https://www.bppe.ca.gov/forms_pubs/sunset_2019.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022 at 4:17 PM

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