HES students appeal to have "Extension Studies" removed from degree title.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Maniac Craniac, Jun 25, 2021.

  1. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    There is another great post from the same Extension alumnus. He seems very upfront and honest about the situation. I trust his views as he has no reason to downgrade his own education. He is also very proud of the Extension school, unlike other alumni who insist on excluding that term from their resumes. He has another masters at MIT after his ALM from Harvard so he knows something about a good education.

    Overall, I highly respect this guy - I wish more Extension students were like him. Unfortunately, he points out that many Extension grads/students are to blame for misleading others. Below he states the issue on Extension grads "taking advantage of" the Harvard affiliation to "mislead people".


    "The headhunters are right. It is misleading. Every student and alumnus at Harvard identifies with the school he or she is affiliated with."

    "The Extension School is very different than the College or the advanced programs in GSAS.

    As for the comment that she doesn’t know how to list the name of her school on her resume, why not list “Harvard Extension School”?

    This question gets to the heart of the identity issue. Some graduates don’t want to admit they attended the Harvard Extension School, because of the stigma associated with the part-time program. Other Extension School graduates deliberately take advantage of the “Harvard University” umbrella to mislead people into thinking they attended highly selective College or GSAS programs. "

    "I felt “Harvard University, Master of Liberal Arts, Concentration In History” was misleading and not representative of the degree that I earned through the Extension School. It could easily be confused with a Harvard GSAS degree. I have always used “Harvard Extension School” on my LinkedIn profile and paper versions of my resume, and clearly state this fact on this blog and elsewhere."
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  2. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    So if a HES graduate indicates on the resume/CV or application that they graduated form Harvard University they are deceiving?
    I don't think so.
    I think they are graduating from a division of Harvard University and as such they are graduating from Harvard University.
    One of 12 degree-granting institutions at Harvard University

    Why can't they have on their resumes?
    Harvard University
    Harvard Extension School

    It is clearly indicated that the HES is a division of Harvard University.
    Harvard Division of Continuing Education
    A division of Harvard University dedicated to bringing rigorous programs and innovative online teaching capabilities to distance learners, working professionals, high school students, and those seeking higher learning in retirement.

    We are a fully accredited Harvard school. Our degrees and certificates are adorned with the Harvard University insignia. They carry the weight of that lineage. Our graduates walk at University commencement and become members of the Harvard Alumni Association.

    As one of 12 degree-granting institutions at Harvard University, we teach to the largest and most eclectic student body.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
    NMTTD and innen_oda like this.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    So, just to be clear, do you seriously believe that HBS MBA is to HES ALM as Porsche 911 is to... a bicycle?
    NMTTD and Dustin like this.
  4. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    A bit surprised they’re not going for more. They’re fairly in line with Santa Cruz ebike pricing. Granted, don’t expect to see them on any trails.
    smartdegree likes this.
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Sooooooooooooooooo, that Porsche bicycle costs more than twice as much as my car.
    smartdegree likes this.
  6. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    You can buy new motorcycles for less than, at least what I see, the cost of the average bicycle at many mountain bike trailheads! It’s insane how pricey a decently equipped bike is now. Just mid-grade components on a composite frame and you’re pushing $5k.. Also insane how much technology and material engineering goes into them.
    smartdegree likes this.
  7. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I don't think its a good comparison.
    Its more like I owned Ford Mustang Mach3 Cleveland 351 and my roommate owned Porsche.

    Are the same faculty professors teaching?

    I have a diploma from an extension school of IIT same faculty, same text books, same projects.
  8. a_feineis

    a_feineis New Member

    I don't think its anymore misleading to state "Harvard University, ALM in Finance" than it would be for a Divinity student to list "Harvard University, MTS." Both are true. The name of the degree is sufficiently differentiated to allow someone to see which school you graduated from.

    I'm self-employed, so I don't particularly care about the resume requirements. My main problem is with the diploma listing the degree as ALM or ALB in Extension Studies, as though the concentration was "Extension Studies."
  9. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    I'd love to know who made that decision. No one is taking classes in Extensionology.

    I suppose one of my issues with this is why people even recognize the authority of Harvard University to dictate how you list your degree on your resume if you are not misleading people. In their official guidelines in years past, they show people listing an AB in History, Harvard University, no college mentioned. If you list "ALM in Finance, Harvard University" that will demonstrate to people that your degree did not come from HBS (because anyone from HBS lists it) without being actually misleading. That comes down to ethics, but also depends on your aims. If you just don't care to confuse employers by listing "Extension School" as related to a Master's degree, that's not really done in bad faith. If your goal is to pretend to be from HBS with your ALM in Finance, you're kind of a jerk.

    Plus it's not like Harvard could really do anything. If listing your degree improperly was actually an ethics violation that could lead to your degree being pulled, we would have seen it happen already. Therefore we can confidently say that the resume guidelines are clearly just that -- guidelines.
    a_feineis likes this.
  10. a_feineis

    a_feineis New Member

    For the undergrad degree, you're required to take at least 50% of your courses with Harvard faculty. Those courses all use the same syllabus as the HC version of the course. The online lectures for those courses are usually just live recordings of the HC lectures. The other courses are often taught by professors from nearby schools like Tufts, BU, Northeastern, etc. This past year, HC students have been allowed to enroll in online courses, so a significant number of my courses have had extension students working side by side with HC students. The Summer School has a similar phenomenon each year as well.

    A better analogy might be to compare HES to a Porsche thats manufactured using a VW engine.
  11. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    To be honest, I'd be happier to own an old school Cleveland 351 than any Porsche, new or vintage. If that's the difference between the two, which carries no objective value, then we really shouldn't care if someone just writes "Harvard University" with their ALM.

    (and for all the car snobs who think a Porsche is undeniably better than a Mustang, that's still your opinion and nothing you say can make it anything other than just an opinion)
  12. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    My car was awesome and I have good memories from those days, I became a Mustang club member attending car shows, the only thing that I hated is that I was stopped by police more often,
    somehow I speculate it was associated with gang members. I never was in gang.
    Replacement parts for my Mustang were cheaper significantly then my roommates. I remember do that Porsche at the time was considered a cooler and more lucrative car to own and also stolen more often.

    HES grads should be proud of what they have accomplished and be proud to list “Harvard Extension School” on their resumes.
    Don't sell it as Harvard College degree. Hiring managers will take an honest HES graduate but if one tries to misrepresent they may be viewed as fraud.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  13. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    That was precisely what the Extension alum said. You actually were the one who alerted me to Lamont's website. I thought you consider him reliable? If not, why post his link?

    I guess even within Extension the students do not agree.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  14. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    As a bike enthusiast myself, I totally agree.
  15. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    Tell that to your fellow Extension alumnus. It seems that even within Extension, students disagree. I am just watching the show.
  16. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    If you haven't noticed yet in my other posts, I have a flair for the dramatic.

    Also, that's a Porsche ebike (costing over 10K), not just any random bicycle. Big difference LOL.
  17. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    To conclude here as an outside observer, here are my unbiased observations:

    1) Some people view Extension = HBS / HKS / etc, so your ALM/ALB will likely impress somebody.
    2) Some people view Extension = part of Harvard, but not as good as the other Harvard schools.
    3) Some people view Extension = Not the real Harvard, but an ok/good quality education
    4) Some people view Extension = definitely not reputable / second-rate education
    5) Some people view Extension students = misleading/fakers/frauds

    Is it worth the $35K tuition for an ALM to go through all the pain and arguments when dealing with people? I don't see any other Harvard students have to "defend" their degrees on anonymous forums to the extent I see with Extension students. It is sad - but they should have known what they were signing up for. If they didn't do the research, then that's on them.

    One of the great benefits of a Harvard degree is that your degree will not be questioned - which is totally not the case with Extension. In fact, I have seen more blogs/posts defending Extension as "real" than I have seen on Purdue Global or UM Flint.

    I get the affordability of Extension as a plus, but nowadays you can get a $25K MBA from Boston U and UIUC. Why would you choose Extension in that case? Or if you're just after the letters, go for the HAU MBA for $3K.

    For a bachelors, there are far cheaper options as well. None of these alternative options are "inferior" to Extension. Do you really believe a BU or UIUC mba is worse than an HES ALM? The only reason I can think why people choose the $35K HES vs $25 Boston U is they are part of the (1) group above.

    Lastly, I get the impression that people here feel sorry for HES grads' situation - that they are somehow oppressed or marginalized. BS - I don't get it. They chose their school knowing full well what that means. Also, there are a lot of HES *ssh*l*s out there that always seem to shove their "Harvard" status in my face. HES students I've met are the uppity type - they are definitely not the oppressed or marginalized. You probably have not met them, but I have - and I live in Canada. Unfortunately that low sample size is the only contact I've had with real HES students.

    Peace out!
    Futuredegree likes this.
  18. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I think It's respectable degree, with the same accreditation as the other schools of Harvard University and the degree is conferred by Harvard University but not highly regarded as a degree from Harvard proper.

    Extension students hold Harvard ID cards, get a Harvard email address, study in the university's libraries, and work in its labs. ( As one student said - This is Harvard's best-kept secret," he said. "As a kid on the steps of Widener Library, I dreamed of going in one day. And when that day finally came … I knew I finally belonged. Harvard is possible.")
    They have access to academic and career services. They attend sporting events and participate in community service activities.
    They also march at Harvard's commencement and, after graduating, become members of the Harvard Alumni Association, reaping all the associated benefits.
    So what's the problem? The answer lies in how Harvard Extension School operates compared with the rest of university.
    Admission to the undergraduate Extension program is less stringent. Undergrad and grad schools at Harvard are highly selective, which is entirely the point of an Ivy League name.

    On a podcast, Huntington Lambert offered his own unique summation. Lambert was dean of the Extension School until 2019, and his mother attended Extension classes when he was a child.

    "Most people who know our students and our alumni know that they did the same courses that are just as hard as Harvard courses," Lambert said. "They just can't take the time or don't have the money to enjoy a full-time residential experience. And so the credential is not the same as Harvard College or Harvard Law School or Harvard Business School, but it is Harvard."

    So I think the apple falls not that far from the three. If its not a Lexus it definitely a fully loaded Camry or an Avalon.

    I think if I was a student at HES I would also want extension school name modified like HES Center or HES Institute.
  19. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    I just have to say that I think it's hilarious to be arguing over the prestige of "Ivy League" schools and their degrees when Ivy League is a term that originated with basketball. Do the schools also happen to have decent academics? I guess. But the term is due to sports (basketball) and not academics.
    TTS and SteveFoerster like this.
  20. chris richardson

    chris richardson Active Member

    My sister's significant other did the HES ALM management degree, lives in Canada east coast, works in tech and graduated his undergrad at "THE" University in the city they work and live. The Harvard thing is certainly part of his self marketing. My sister, who dropped out 4th year at same University was almost going to finish up with TESU when she saw me get my degree there. He talked her out of it because "brand". She is successful in tech sales.

    The live the downtown mid upper 30's in crowd lifestyle. Are they really making it? Yeah, but no idea if broke as heck meantime that will most likely resolve with time barring job loss or being silly too long with image cost.

    The HES degree would not play as well in TO, NY, Montreal etc., because big pond.

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