Great Falls teen earns Doctorate degree

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

  1. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I was once asked to do some training for a state's Department of Mental Health based on my expertise in a very narrow topic they were highly interested in. They wanted me to run a large training for their annual conference (mostly made up of LCSW Social Workers and LMHC Counsellors.) They had to withdraw me from consideration when they learned I had (at the time) only a 2-year diploma and no license...apparently the optics of that would not have played well.

    Not exactly the same as the age thing, but they had no idea my situation from any of my writing, previous delivered training on the topic, etc., that I was so (ill) credentialed.
  2. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    If you led off with saying, "Kim Strable accomplished something," I doubt that anyone would disagree with...well...most, if any, of your assessment here. Instead, you led off with:
    I don't think anyone here actually thinks CIU is a good school. It's a university that meets minimum acceptability for recognized accreditation in the USA and can't manage to get better professors than a bunch of people from UoP, Walden, and Capella, all three of which have at least been accused of predatory practices and subpar education standards by people far beyond DegreeInfo. It also charges tuition fees on-par with some of the more prestigious universities of one's state of residence. Heck, a Master's from Montana State University would cost about $10,000 while one from CIU would cost about $18,000.

    What people do think, or at least what appears to be the consensus, is that Strable accomplished something noteworthy.

    I do take serious issue with the kind of schools you are liable to consider mickey mouse institutions, degree mills, or outright fakes and the criteria you use to judge such things (like DEAC accreditation or online universities or one of the legally-recognized schools in Nicaragua with positive NACES evaluations being "a bullshit school"). Everyone here went to a school that could be called a "mickey mouse" institution in some circles, even you. After all, your own alma mater (Union) was heavily scrutinized for having poor academic quality by the Ohio Board of Regents and had the US Department of Education refuse to pay financial aid as a result. In some circles, including two of my former employers, that would make Union roughly equivalent to the University of Phoenix. Both of them were scrutinized for subpar quality, both restructured their schools, and both are running a refreshed operation under a not-necessarily-so-refreshed reputation. To clarify this for those who aren't in-the-know, Dr. Levicoff's PhD from Union was earned in 1991, over 10 years before the controversy. As such, I do not wish to cast aspersions on the rigor or quality of Steve's education or contribution to the educational community. My only interest is to express the problem with marking any schools we don't fully accept as fakes, mills, or mickey mouse operations. Eventually, it begins to look like we're defining a fake/bad/mill/mickey mouse/fly by night school like Steve Foerster so eloquently put it:
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    What happened to Rich Douglas? I haven't seen him on here for a while now.
  4. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Who cares?

    But seriously, Rich is one of many prominent members (most of whom were more credible than he was) who have dropped off the forum over the years. You wouldn't recognize half the names, but that's because they split before you showed up, but many of thhem had far better reputations than Rich.

    Rich did announce when he left, as he has announced every time he left, and when last heard from he was busy being an, um, "consultant." Which, of course, is a bullshit term than can mean anything.

    For more information, see (3) Rich Douglas | LinkedIn. And for fun reading about Rich's more notorious days as a mill shill, see the entire forum The Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies | DegreeInfo. Having said that (yes, I know, more than once), if it were a choice between Rich being here and not being here, I'd prefer to have him here - he cleaned up his act sufficiently that he's more of an asset than a liability iu this field.
  5. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Perhaps, but students will search her up. I could see things going very wrong after that.

    Age isn't asked for by many employers due to age discrimination lawsuit concerns, but I know that every school I ever dealt with as a student has asked me for my date of birth. I hear ENEB asks for that and a passport or some other type of verifying ID, but I realize it's different as a student because there is generally no concern that your age will be a hindering factor to your enrollment except for programs where a minimum age requirement is stated (I rarely see that anymore online, but it was pretty common during the '00s, even Ashford University had it which is kind of funny to me now considering how they turned out).
  6. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Perhaps we can set Dr. Strable aside for a while and move on to Sheldon Cooper, who earned two Ph.D. degrees by age seventeen, and joined the faculty at CalTech.
    newsongs likes this.
  7. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    "I'm the third youngest in world history to ever get a doctorate in an [Dr.]y subject, the youngest in all world history to ever get a doctorate in business and the youngest in American history to get a doctorate in any field," [Dr.] Strable told KRTV.

    Aah, checkable assertions.
  8. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member


    I don't like where this one might go...
  9. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Aah, checkable assertions, he said again, after accidentally logging out. My list of more than thirty very young doctorate earners is buried in storage, so I started afresh. Mr. Google and I took about 90 seconds to find the first four assertion-disproves. Karl Witte (13), Kim Ung-Young (Colorado State, 15), Balamurali Ambati (Mt. Sinai M.D., 17), and Ruth Lawrence (Oxford, 17). Norbert Wiener is widely listed as 17, but there is a possibility he had just turned 18.

    Another statistic: Two split infinitives in the first 24 words. Probably not a record, however.
    Dustin likes this.
  10. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I was recently hiring some people and I was caused to, again, reflect on how people often mistake education for qualification (in the US sense).

    A degree, no matter where it is from, checks a box. That's it. This job requires a bachelors degree. Do you have one? Check.

    Are there times when a degree might impress an employer beyond that? Certainly. However, there are limits to that. I once commented elsewhere that a bachelors in gender studies from Yale is not likely to get you nearly as many job offers as a bachelors in accounting from DeVry. Someone responded "Yeah, but if you're applying for a job that requires a degree in gender studies, Yale will get it over the University of Ohio!" Hogwash.

    The degree checks a box. But what gets you the job is your experience and skills. How is it that I strolled into my current company with my little CTU bachelors (plus industry certs) and suddenly was a manager of a team that had graduates from Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations? And even one or two with masters degrees in HR from my own alma mater (U Scranton)? How? Dumb luck? Hardly. I went out and I got the certifications I needed to get the job I wanted. Then I moved strategically to get right where I wanted for a company of the size I desired. I built the skills needed to get the career I wanted. That's how careers work.

    Earning a doctorate is great if you do it because you want to pursue a path that is helped by a doctorate. if you go out and get one because you think it makes you look smart or because you just want the title or because you think that now you can skip all of that skill building, well, you're probably not going to go as far. I don't, in this job, get a ton of doctorates coming across my desk though I do see them. But in a previous recruiter life I had plenty and I would need to explain, no fewer than a dozen times, a quarter to an angry applicant that their doctorate didn't make them "over" qualified because they lacked the basic experience and skill requirements of the job. For all of that education they were unqualified to work in the field that they were ostensibly experts in. It happens a lot and it is a very sticky trap to get caught in.

    So I hope this young woman sees great success in her life. However, I think her claim that she is successfully suing anyone for age discrimination is also hogwash. Ultimately, though, she will need more than degrees on her resume if she is hoping to work in a corporate role. And if she's thinking that a DBA pushes you past entry level work then, well, she's likely to realize that isn't the case after some years of frustration.
    Maniac Craniac and Dustin like this.
  11. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    This is an issue in particular with PhDs in Social Work. The terminal degree for practice/licensure is an MSW so if you spend the extra 5 years and earn your PhD, you'll still need to pay your dues at the $30K entry-level social worker position, collect licensure and supervision hours and will not be qualified for management roles for several years.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    As an undergrad, I knew this guy from Freshman seminar (they teach you what a syllabus is, it was a one credit throwaway). And this guy was majoring in psychology with the intention of being a psychiatrist. His reasoning was that after medical school you have to go through a residency in psychiatry, but he could skip that since he had a bachelors in psychology. Naturally, that's now how any of that works. And it's silly to think that such a small move by an 18 year old outmaneuvered the entire medical profession. Yet, people with that same attitude do this with doctorates all the time.

    In Social Work, all a PhD (or DSW as I've seen a handful of those around) qualifies you to do is teach. You don't need one to manage other social workers. You don't need one to become a clinical social worker. And, as you said, it doesn't help you jump the line on any professional requirement. Yet it feels like every year I'm seeing someone on Facebook proclaiming that their young adult offspring will now cut the line ahead of the poor rubes who aren't smart enough to earn a doctorate like them. Though, the vast majority of them seem to simply not be talked about after a year or two as they become masters graduates or perpetual ABDs.

    I struggle to think what job a 17 year old could be hoping for with a doctorate in global leadership. There's no regular job for which that is a qualification. If it had been earned from a highly respected institution and included language fluency, overseas research etc then perhaps a case could be made for certain jobs. But, as far as I can tell, this young woman is perhaps not as far ahead of the curve as she thinks. She is certainly qualified for any number of entry level jobs in the corporate world. Of course, I couldn't hire her for any at my company since she's under 18.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  13. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Some great posts above.

    My employer reimbursement, starting in September, has me dreaming of a wall full of degrees but I'm trying to remind myself that a degree, to anyone but me, really is just a check in the box.

    I've always taken pride in the notion that I could learn anything about anything with just a library card and an internet connection. The problem is- how do you show that you know these things, and how do you convince other people to care that you do? Sometimes, those questions can be so daunting that college seems like the easy way out.
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If only obnoxious people hadn't chased her away, we could have asked her.
    newsongs likes this.
  15. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I don't name drop. I experience drop. I have encountered so many people in my life, to date, and I love tucking away little nuggets of things that many of them do that stick with me for one reason or another.

    Let me tell you about two...

    One is a retired police officer. I knew him when I was active in freemasonry. He has no college degree. He retired as a Lieutenant. So you might think he would, perhaps like my father, go off and have a second career in law enforcement or private security, right? Nope. He teaches in a GED program, notably in a community program at the county jail of the sheriff's office where he used to work. His specialty is teaching math. Why? Because he liked math in high school. Though he never earned a college degree he did take a few classes in higher level math over the years. And when Khan Academy came on the scene he was hooked.

    Another is an engineer. He has no other formal academic training except as an engineer. He's also an Orthodox priest. No M.Div. No B.Div. Nothing. He was ordained through non-degree study in his denomination.

    When you have a degree you tell the world you learned something. I can put it on my wall and everyone who comes in can be wowed by my study of business or statistics or humanities or whatever. But the people who really stand out as knowing stuff, whether they have a degree or not, don't tell you about all of the stuff they know. Instead, they show everyone that they know it.

    My grandfather never graduated from high school. He did the NYT crossword every day. The man knew many more answers to questions in Jeopardy than I ever could. He never had even a single piece of paper to tell you he learned stuff. But you never went away from a conversation with him thinking he was uneducated. You knew that he knew things by talking to him. And no matter who talked to him he always had some common interest (personal or professional) with them. When he met his eye doctor he struck up a conversation about some new eye treatment he read about. Not just a casual mention, either. He went deep because one article led him to another. The doctor was rather surprised that this old guy who only ever did manual labor knew so much about the human eye. He would do the same thing when talking to a lawyer or an engineer or a janitor. He wasn't trying to show off and he certainly wasn't trying to imply that he knew as much as they did. He was genuinely interested and eager to have a conversation with others who were also interested by these things. He didn't tell them where he got the knowledge or how or how long it took him. He showed them what he knew and they showed him what they knew and his knowledge, and base of friends, grew.

    In short, you'll never convince someone you know something by telling them. You have to show them what you know.
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    First and most important, I really liked these illustrative stories.

    But I'll admit that this came into my head.

  17. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    You don't think any university will hire a 17-year-old assistant professor?
  18. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I can't tell if this is sarcasm or not, but Dr. Alia Sabur is (was?) the youngest professor in the world, although apparently it was a one year, non-tenure-track position.
  19. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member


    I've never really thought about it, but it's not impossible. It's highly improbable for other reasons in addition to the age of the person we're discussing, but not impossible.
  20. Courcelles

    Courcelles Member

    Her NA for-profit doctorate is likely a bigger barrier than her age there. Does she even have an RA masters, or just the MSU-N bachelors?
    TEKMAN likes this.

Share This Page