Great Falls teen earns Doctorate degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Dustin, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    No it isn't, it's fair to assume because of your age since age and experience tend to have a close relationship, and it's a fact not an opinion, you do lack work experience as you certainly don't have nearly enough for executive management (or any management role for that matter in a business setting where you'd be managing people). You're not qualified for that role yet. Whatever experience you have is not enough no matter what you believe and companies are going to make you believe it by rejecting you at every turn for at least a few more years for anything greater than low-to-mid entry level. Those higher roles normally go to people who have worked their way up, paid their dues, and navigated the cutthroat obstacles of the business world. They don't give them to kids, nor should they. Too much is at stake to do that.

    If you're concerned about what your past and current employer thinks, suing and making that public shouldn't have happened. And now you have to be concerned about what your potential future employers may think because of that decision. These are real concerns to have, because just like you found and read this thread, employers find and read things about you as well. Hiring is an investment and companies do what they can to mitigate their risks.

    I think your earning of a Doctorate is great and should be celebrated, it's a fine accomplishment. But you're making some mistakes in judgement that you don't realize, like posting in this thread for example. Everything you do/say online never goes away. Even if you delete something, you can bet someone has seen it and recorded it somehow and there is always someone waiting to use it against you in the future. Look at what just happened to Alexi McCammond. They reached back to, coincidentally, something she wrote when she was 17 years old to end her career. Was it fair? Nope, it was total BS, but people aren't fair and they don't give a damn about being fair. This is a digital world now that never forgets and never forgives. Remember that before every decision you make.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
    Dustin likes this.
  2. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    There's another more generalizable lesson here that many doctorate-holders have to learn: their coursework and thesis doesn't inherently make them more qualified for a business position than the person at the Bachelor's level, and they certainly don't make one entitled to a higher salary. This is a common misconception among those doctoral-holders, especially in fields like Social Work where the terminal degree for practice is a Master's. The person who gets their BBA or MBA has all of the core business skills they need for an entry level role. The additional research and writing skills of a DBA are not yet valuable to a company, until combined with experience at the entry-level/junior level.

    I do wish Dr. Strable success. She's one of the few participants on this thread to have a doctorate (Dr. Levicoff of course sharing his trademark acerbic thoughts) and we can appreciate that. I think on a forum dedicated to distance education it is to be expected that we will pick apart the pros and cons of anyone's choices, though perhaps we need to temper ourselves a bit since we're adults with the benefit of making those choices "eyes open." I get some raised eyebrows for doing an NA MBA among other educational choices, but I understood the differences and made the choice, and can defend that. I also made some really dumb educational choices in my teens and early 20s that left me with lots of debt and few credentials.

    Dr. Strable, giving the benefit of the doubt that we are hearing from you genuinely: what was your dissertation on, what did you choose to research?
  3. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    Steve, agreed! However, it isn't only the school... it is the topic. Jonathan Haidt (NYU, Stern School of Business) has done some great work questioning the "leadership" BS. A BS degree from a BS school. Well done !
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Ironic if true, considering Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at Stern. Maybe you should write him and tell him it's BS.
    Vonnegut likes this.
  5. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I wasn't going to say anything since it was a bit OT but since we're there, can you cite a source? I'm not familiar with Haidt so I did some googling but I can't find anything where he discusses leadership degrees or majors.
  6. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    On snap...
  7. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Well, it’s now a day and a half since “Kimberly Strable” registered for DI and posted a whopping four messages in her first two hours. Despite several responses to her posts, including at least one in question form, she has not posted since then and it’s now almost a day and a half later.

    We could speculate on several reasons for this. First, as I proposed earlier in this thread, she might not be Kimberly at all. A Google search on her name reveals nothing from DI for the first several pages. How, then, would the real Kimberly have found out about this thread (unless a DI regular with a sense of humor e-mailed her about it)?

    Second, assuming it really was Kimberly, reading this thread in full might have educated her about the notion that the more she posts, the more she was leaving a historical record of this issue. Since potential employers do, in fact, do Google searches on applicants, she was increasing the chance that a company to which she was applying would see this thread.
    I notice on further review of CIU’s web site that there is yet a third was of referring to the degree she claimed: “Doctor of Business Administration in Global Business and Leadership.” In other words, while she referred to her degree in two different ways on this forum and on LinkedIn, neither matched what CIU itself calls the degree.

    Thanks to a revision of the original article cited in the O.P., I also noted that not only did she claim to defend her dissertation on Thursday, the article itself was also written on Thursday. IOW, she was claiming to be a doctor on the very day she did her dissertation defense. (Not to mention that, despite being asked for her dissertation topic in this thread, she ignored the question.)

    In short, I conclude that Kimberly Strable is a bullshit artist. She may or may not have earned the degree she claims – we may never know. But from her “super amazing!” self descriptives, we can dismiss her as insignificant and say that she has had her 15 minutes of fame.

    Final observation: When people here on DI call her Dr. Strable, they are merely demonstrating how gullible they are. I have always said that I prefer my first name, although when people refer to me as Dr. Levicoff I can let it slide. And the same people should know that when I do my “I have an R.A. Ph.D. And you don’t” riff, it’s merely a satirical imitation of Chevy Chase on the original Saturday Night Live.

    If there is any party that got free publicity from this thread, it’s California Intercontinental. Frankly, I had never heard of them until this thread appeared. And doubt that I’ll hear anything significant about them again. It is also clear that reporters who write articles about distance education, including accreditation issues, have their heads up their butts. And that DI members who should know better have much to learn about not being gullible.

    As always, I have spoken. And I’m right, the rest of you are wrong, and you shouldn’t take me so seriously. Even though you’re all wrong. And I’m right. As always. :D
    I did not address Kimberly’s leadership major in this thread, but I have spoken out consistently against leadership as a doctoral major, indeed calling it a bullshit major. In most cases, I was addressing the major as part of an Ed.D. degree rather than a DBA because, frankly, I have no interest in the DBA. As always, before some of you wazoos doth protest too much, I have never said that leadership is a bullshit subject in itself – I have two courses on leadership in my own doctorate – but that it is a bullshit major as it is taught today in one-size-fits-all cash-cow doctoral programs.

  8. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Bottom line, earning an accredited doctorate at 17 is an accomplishment. It really is, no matter what Steve says (these days, half of the time he can be safely ignored).
    Was earning this degree a smart career move, though? I really do not see how it would be. In working world, she would have impressed more people with her 4.0 Bachelor's alone than with that PLUS a doctorate from, let's face it, a super obscure university, graduating from the program meant for managers and senior-ish consultants. It's a puzzling move, and one generally tries not to puzzle the HR drones and hiring managers too much. One way I could see her directly using the degree is to become coach/mentor/author for the homeschool crowd - and going by this thread, she has no plans to do that.
    In other words, Dr. Strable accomplished an impressive stunt, but may be disappointed if she expects employers to reward it.
    One other observation: I do not have the best vibes from her saying she plans to go into "executive management". It's narrowly possible she has a specific plan to accomplish that, but it is something an entitled brat with no specific skills would say. I have a relative like that, and he got into real trouble (well, to be fair, he is very much NOT a teen prodigy).
  9. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with that, even if the doctorate is from a mediocre DEAC-accredited school. And at least you appear to be admitting that half of the time I can't be ignored. :D I love you as always.

    But seriously, Stan, the last time I looked you up you showed up as an assistant professor at TAMUCC. In fact, your department looked like a virtual United Nations. So have you actually moved from Canada to the Lonestar State?
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I think that this also doesn't talk very good about the school. If a 17 year old can ace this DBA that is supposed to be for senior professionals, there is something wrong with this program. A person can be very intelligent, but a DBA is supposed to be a program for experienced professionals.

    I think picking on the graduate should be not be the problem here, I think exposing this type of programs as being just cash cows as you stated seems to be the main issue.

    I agree with Steve here, it seems to be just evidence that there is something substantially wrong with this cash cow operations.
  11. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    As I mentioned on a previous post, 90% of CIU's doctoral faculty come from Walden/Capella/UofP and similar schools. They're all regionally accredited, but (and this is my ignorance of the academy showing), how soon after earning a PhD would a professor begin to supervisee doctoral students, and can they do that on a part-time basis without otherwise being immersed in full time, brick and mortar academia without sacrificing quality?

    It's possible that their dissertation committees don't have the skills to properly evaluate a thesis. I'm less concerned about the coursework because I suspect even an inexperienced person, air-dropped into a doctoral-level class could read up on the literature and find examples to keep the discussion going, while learning from their coworkers.
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    To be quite honest, she can easily just become an adjunct at another DEAC school with this DBA and nobody even would notice her age as it is online. Most of the online courses from for profit are just canned courses and most of the time just need a professor to meet accreditation requirement but you are limited to grade assignments and answer general questions. She can do just fine being a 17 year old for this.

    I think she did nothing wrong here, as with Covid you are just home, her family probably told her just to take advantage of the time a do a DBA. She is probably very smart and figured that this type of programs do not fail anyone as long as you submit some work. She just figured out the system that sometimes takes years for us adults to figure out.

    The DBA can help her to get a career as an online adjunct and freelance. I hold a DBA and you can easily get work as a freelance doing some writing, editing, business writing, course writing, etc. For this you don't need to have professional business experience but just writing skills that she seems to have.

    She can probably make easily 50K to start working from home with this DBA that is way more than a typical 17 year would make.

    Good for her.
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It is a game Dustin. I have worked as adjunct at for profit schools, the schools are not interested in failing students as it cost about 50% of their tuition to pay for marketing to attract the student (I was constantly reminded of that). I was measured based on the retention rate and student feedback. If you retention is low and feedback low, you will not be called for a new contract. It is a game of making the customer happy, keeping him or her in the system and you just making sure that the minimum is satisfied. The degree is not granted for free, you are still required to do the work but the school would make it easy for you to get the doctorate by providing you step by step guidelines, templates, etc. Most graduates from these schools cannot publish in top journals and the schools do not require a single publication, others would just create their own journals like Walden.

    There a lot of good students in these programs so we cannot generalize, but in general these programs have no intention to fail you so I can see how a 17 year old can finish it if she puts enough effort and work in the process.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    If all the faculty evaluating the thesis are also people that got their PhDs without any peer reviewed article from a rigorous journal, the expectation for the dissertation is also the same given their own experience.
    Also, some programs accept DBA dissertations from work places. She could just have conducted a survey at her family business and use some creativity to make it a dissertation. There are no publication requirements and you can use work place for your dissertation so there is no need to be so scientific.
    There is also the level of effort that is needed to assess a dissertation. I was paid few thousand dollars to evaluate a dissertation, there is so much time you can put in the evaluation of a dissertation when you are paid little money. Also, if you fail the dissertation the school will just not give you more dissertations.
  15. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    That canned course part can be said about almost any course from any school for-profit and non-profit, RA and NA. Course Hero proved that a long time ago. Pretty much every school is using the same textbooks and lesson materials because they're all being purchased from the same few education giants that dominate the industry. The only real separation in quality between schools is in administration and teaching faculty--and in the case of ground-based learning--facilities and physical resources. One could argue that most non-profit schools have better teaching faculty (and facilities) and I would tend to agree with that as a rule of thumb, but those schools also tend to pay much better salaries (they have the money to do it so they attract the best teaching talent) and hold endowments that only a few for-profit schools could ever match or come close to in revenue. Heck, of the top 100 University endowments, none go below 1 Billion dollars.
  16. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, but I also think that a 17 year old with a DBA can handle an online general management class if all she needs to do is grade and answer some basic questions that are probably already in an instructor's manual. There is a reason why these classes pay 1200 dlls a class that translated to an hourly rate to about $20 an hour that is more that what she can make at Walmart.

    All she has to do is put a picture of her mother in the course instead of hers. Most online schools do not ask for age but only a SIN and a bank account, if she has the transcripts to probe that she is a Dr, she is set to teach at Aspen or other similar DEAC school.
  18. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Dissertations are about analyzing existing literature, collecting data, applying research methods, and making valid conclusions. Someone who can rock 4.0 GPA in college is likely to be able to do that. Now, experience factors into how useful these conclusions may be, but faculty may be ill-equipped to assess that (the diss topic is by definition narrow - why would a specific prof happen to have real workd experience in that), and anyway it's not the point of the exercise. Dissertations assess research skills, not experience.
    For industry, though, experience is essential, and one can argue it's a "required secondary power" of sorts (it's not as useful to have super strength if your punches would break your own bones). Senior positions where a DBA/EdD is preferred would also require experience. For jobs that SOLELY rely on research skills, on the other hand, a typical practitioner DBA/EdD program may be not rigorous enough on methods (add the stigma of an obscure for-profit to that). So, yeah, assuming she's admitted, a young student can do the work - but may have difficulty actually using the credential.
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Not so sure, I do a lot of freelance work and used to do a lot of adjunct work. For adjunct and freelance work, you are just a profile on the internet with some ratings, age is not important but the ratings you got in the past. Most companies looking for freelances search for profiles on a database with ratings, if you have good ratings you get work regardless of your age.
    She can also work as an online consultant, when she needs to make a phone call, she can just use a voice changer to make her sound older and use an image processing software to make her look older in her picture. Some people I know use the same tools but to make them look younger, skinnier or to change your accent if you have a strong one. Technology is your best friend here.
    I learned that is all about perception, the age is not relevant but what makes a difference is you know how the system works.
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes, but most serious DBAs wouldn't consider a 17 year as most require at least 5 years of executive experience and an interview. The point is that you are supposed to be learning also from your peers and not just the professor. If the school starts letting in 17 years old, you can imagine the level of discussions. Dissertations are also supposed to be applied in nature, so if you never worked the best you can do is apply the DBA into your ebay internet business or for the church you go on Sundays.

    There are some cases of young people getting PhDs in India but in hard sciences like Math, some people are just born with the gift and can come up with original work at a very young age but I think here the DBA shouldnt be the case. Check the kid below:'s%20Youngest%20PhD%20Holder%20Who%20Completed%20His%20MSc%20At%2010%20Years%20Old,-3%20min%20read&text=Tulsi%20was%20born%20on%20September,at%20a%20very%20early%20age.

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