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

    If there's any Harvard administrator out there - here's my personal advice on how to solve the Extension problem:

    1) Convert HES into a separately accredited, but affiliated university. Sort of how the University of Virginia has its Wise College and also how Chapman did it with Brandman.
    2) Call the new university, "The Lowell Institute, a Harvard affiliate". That sounds really nice and still maintains the Harvard brand and link.
    3) As the new university is no longer part of Harvard main, it can now offer regular degrees like BA/BS/MA/MS/MBA.

    Problem solved. People now can declare their real major, and because it is now a separate university, students are legally required to mention the name of the university - fakers will be discouraged. The Harvard link is still there with the "affiliate" status.

    If you look at historical university extensions, that's usually what happened. That's why we have state university systems like Michigan, California, Texas, etc that branched out from the original parent university.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
    datby98 and Futuredegree like this.
  2. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Doubt Harvard has any concerns over any of this. HES fills a niche for them and does it extremely well as it is.
  3. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Harvard has no incentive to change anything as long as people keep enrolling.

    I find it ironic how HES students accuse other Harvard students of elitism when the HES students could have received the same education at a public university for much less. But, they didn't want to go to a public university; they wanted to put Harvard on their resumes.
    chris richardson and smartdegree like this.
  4. a_feineis

    a_feineis New Member

    I think only views 1 and 2 are valid. An HES degree is "real Harvard" in every sense of the word. I think most people fall into the second view on this. It's designed for working professionals, so you don't have the focus on research or access to on campus recruiting that other schools have. It's also 100 years old, but for practical purposes, its only been in its current form for 10-15 years, prior to that, they only graduated a handful of students each year.

    I'm going for an ALM in Finance because I can get the degree, a graduate certificate in Real Estate Investing, and a grad certificate in Corporate Finance for ~$15,000 after the LLC tax credit. I'm sure BU or UIUC programs are great, I actually have a professor from BU's business school teaching one of my courses. I just don't have the time or the inclination to jump through the GMAT and adcom hurdles of traditional programs and I feel like an MBA from universities like HAU or WGU wouldn't challenge me enough.

    I certainly agree with your sentiment on victimization. There is a small group of students who use the victimhood shtick to advocate for change, I find it contemptible, as I do most groups who use the victimhood narrative. I do think its possible to advocate for change without portraying yourself as a victim.
    Dustin likes this.
  5. a_feineis

    a_feineis New Member

    There's no other university that would have given me access to the industry professionals and professors that the ALM Finance program has for less than the $15,000 this degree costs. The only other programs that are cheaper are MOOC-type MBAs from universities that lack the prestige to draw in talented professors.
  6. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    That's not how much your degree cost, and the Lifetime Learning Credit is applicable to tuition paid at any college. There are good business schools that are cheaper than $35k and have high quality professors and adjuncts who are currently working in the industry.
  7. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Are you saying that you could have gone to a good, cheaper business school without the Extension confusion if you had just taken the GMAT?
  8. a_feineis

    a_feineis New Member

    I'll finish next spring. After the LLC, my total out of pocket will be $16,932.00. HES offers a financial aid grant that amount to a 50% reduction in tuition. I don't know what the cutoff is for this grant, but my EFC is right around $26,000, so I suspect most students get the grant.
    Dustin likes this.
  9. a_feineis

    a_feineis New Member

    If I had taken the GMAT, wrote the admissions essays, etc, I could have gotten into a part time MBA program somewhere, but I would have paid more for a lower level of instruction and they wouldn't have had the real estate classes I'm interested in. As I said before, I'm self employed, so the "Extension confusion" doesn't really matter to me. Members of my cohort are currently employed at investment banks and pension funds, none of their employers seem to be concerned about the "confusion" either, in fact, most of their employers are footing the bill for the "confusion."
  10. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    That's your out-of-pocket cost after the grant and the tax credit? That was the total cost of my degree at University of Florida before any tax credits. I didn't study finance, but I did take classes from their veterinary school, which is ranked #9. They did require the GRE or a previously earned graduate degree.
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Yes, that sounds much more practical than just assigning majors to ALB and ALM programs that correspond with what those enrolled in them are actually studying.
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I will say, though, that it would be interesting to run the experiment of what you suggest, making no other changes, and see what happens to enrollment.
  13. OldSage

    OldSage New Member

    I was interested briefly in HES until I learned of the controversy of how to list their programs on resumes on no less than the official Harvard website that was trying to detach themselves from their own school as if they were ashamed of it. If Harvard itself wants to distance themselves from the Extension School then why would I want to associate with it? Seems like they want their monetary cake and eat it too. Let's get money based on our Harvard brand, but it's not REALLY Harvard. If it is not money, as I am sure they have plenty of financiers, then its a condescending paternalistic headpat. Even so far as university officials telling Harvard Extension School students that they shouldn't tell people they are Harvard students. It's under their umbrella, it has their name, yet they want to act like it doesn't. While probably a fine curriculum, it sounds like entering a world of snobbery and pretentiousness that I avoid in my life. In addition, they don't seem to be confident in their own program. No one should misrepresent themselves, but that includes a school as well that wants your money as a student, while distancing themselves from those same students as sub-class. No thank you. Anway, my 2 cents about a school and issue I have no connection to other than wasting some time reading some websites.
  14. skirtlet

    skirtlet Member

    Good point that HES is one of the 12 schools of Harvard University. Some seem to think HES is laughable for some reason, but it's not. It offers easier admissions and schedules for working adults, but it still offers a quality education. I also think it's silly for anyone to brag about getting in to Harvard/any college, but to personally be proud of a quality education is normal. I wouldn't laugh at someone for attending any college as a working adult, but I also wouldn't think it was very mature for an adult to brag about getting into some school either. Going to school as an adult with jobs, kids, spouses, houses, and all of it isn't easy at any school. Adult education programs and divisions exist for good reason, even at Harvard.
    Rachel83az and SteveFoerster like this.
  15. Courcelles

    Courcelles Active Member

    Easy to sign up and take a class, absolutely. Easy to get admitted? I’d imagine not, it’s just that getting admitted is entirely a matter of your own performance, and not impressing some committee with your credentials you already have.

    I’d love to see stats on how many people convert from signing up for a class to actually meeting the performance standards over multiple classes to get formally admitted.
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I agree, that would interesting information, especially if it's filtered to include only those for whom that was their original intention.
  17. TTS

    TTS New Member

    Interesting debate going on, I was not aware of this offering from Harvard until this thread, and reading 6 pages of it. Here's my take on it:

    1. It is a Harvard University degree, it says so on the piece of paper.
    2. Pardon my English, but "the degree of Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies" reads as though that your major/field is in Extension Studies, what is that? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You did not study "Extension Studies", your degree of Liberal Arts is not in the area or subject or field or major of "Extension Studies". I think it is (i).Misrepresentation of the field of study & (ii).Gives the impression that you paid some forger in China with a bad grasp of the English language to produce your high quality forgery.
    3. As someone mentioned there's 12 schools in Harvard University, and Harvard Extension School is just 1 of those 12. While this school has a different admission requirement from the other 11(?). Doesn't make it any less Harvard. Cause Harvard says it's Harvard, again refer to the paper itself.
    4. My assumption is that Harvard did this to make the format of the degrees (paper) somewhat consistent across the schools, so to differentiate HES, they decided to append "in Extension Studies." Which, referring to 2. doesn't make sense to me.

    An interesting reference as to the intention of HES students and where they are coming from:
    Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies: Management.
    Even this looks better than the existing one, at least it reads as though the extended studies is in Management and makes more sense.

    datby98, Dustin and Rachel83az like this.
  18. Suss

    Suss Active Member

    "Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) by
    Extension Studies: Management"

    makes more sense as a read, likewise,

    "Bachelor of Liberal Arts by
    Extension Studies: Physics"
    Rachel83az likes this.
  19. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!


    Why's it not standard format likes other colleges.

    Jane Harvard
    the degree of Bachelor of Liberal Arts (LLB)
    manga cum laude in Software Engineering

    In witness whereof, by authority duly committed to us, we have hereunder placed our names
    and the seals of Harvard University and of Extentision School on this eighth day of June in the
    Year of Our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, of Harvard College the three hundred
    and fifty-third, and of Extension School the one hundred and tenth.
    datby98 likes this.
  20. Suss

    Suss Active Member

    Tekman, that is a sensible solution and would lessen the confusion. Harvard (all of them) is/are tradition-bound and derives elite status, in part, from those traditions. If they were to make a sensible change like this, I'd be surprised.

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