How rigorous should online doctorate programs to be? Insight from an Ed.D student

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by Tom729, Oct 8, 2014.

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  1. Tom729

    Tom729 New Member

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    I initially came across this forum inquiring about online Ph.Ds and Ed.D. Shortly thereafter I was accepted into the January 2014 cohort of the American College of Education for the Ed.D program. I would like to follow up by saying that I really appreciate the advise offered by many people here.

    The American College of education was by far (with the exception of Aspen with is not an R.A) the cheapest RA school around. About six months ago they reduced the tuition by one third so the whole program from start to finish can be completed for around $20,000.

    I have a masters degree from a regular B&M type school and initially I was very hesitant about pursuing an online degree for reasons that have been mentioned here by different people such as marketability, perceptions, etc.

    This is only my opinion, but the one complaint that "I have" about my Ed.D program is that it's way too simple and easy. I have been in the program for about ten months and in that time I have put in a very minimal amount of effort and received almost straight A's in every class. I was expecting a doctorate program to be much more intense and rigorous. In college and grad school I worked my ass off long hard hours and graduated with an B and B+ average respectively.

    Of course that may not be a complaint in everyone's case, but it concerns me because I take pride in my accomplishments and I naturally feel much better about my accomplishment if it was more challenging to earn.

    So far in my program the classes mainly consist of module readings and responding to peer reading related reviews.
    A typical assignment in my class might look something like this. This was taken from my syllabus and is due in several days.

    As a leader, what is your role in enhancing diversity and understanding in the culture of your organization? How will you make sure all of the voices and perspectives are included and encouraged? In other words, how will you facilitate a culture welcoming and supportive for all personnel while maintaining appropriate levels of challenge and of performance expectations?

    Create a document or media product (e.g., PowerPoint, Jing, video presentation) addressing these questions.


    I hope that I'm not insulting anyone, but something like this to me seems like a high school level assignment.

    I'm curious how other people view their program in terms of difficulty.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2014
  2. me again

    me again Active Member

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    Enjoy it while it lasts. Once you get to quantitative methods, statistics, and finally the research phase, you will see people begin to drop out. A monkey can do almost all the classes that lead up to the dissertation in almost every doctoral program.
     
  3. DxD=D^2

    DxD=D^2 New Member

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    In his heart, a man plans his course, but the LORD
    Tom,

    I'm not in a doctoral program, but I'm completing my masters at SNHU; I'm taking one class at a time and am nearly half-way done. With my last class, I felt that it was such an easy class, that I had very little challenge. I received an 'A' in the class -- Ethical Practices in Psychology. It might just be that the easier classes are in the beginning of your program. I was looking at ACE's program and their classes look really interesting, I admit. Keep us posted about your studies and let us know if things change.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2014
  4. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

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    Was your masters in education as well? I've noticed (and this is just MY opinion) that my education coursework was far easier than my history or political science coursework. I finished my MSEd in a year by taking 2 8-week courses at a time while working full-time. It was mostly writing several reflective papers per class, with a dash of research. My MA, on the other hand, took three years. I had to do more discussion, longer papers, etc. I started off at WNMU taking 2 courses per semester, but then, due to the workload (I had also had another child by this point) I had to drop to 1 class per semester during the spring and fall while I was still teaching.

    Now I'm in the PhD program at the University of the Cumberlands. It's a great program. I like that we have live class sessions. The coursework is not entirely difficult. There is a good deal of writing involved, which is fine with me. The topics, at least to this point for me, have been pretty straight forward. Nothing has really been earth shattering, but I'm sure that's because I've gotten plenty of experience from my K-12 and Higher Ed roles. Once I get deeper into the program, I'm sure that will change.

    -Matt
     
  5. Tom729

    Tom729 New Member

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    Mattbrent,

    Question. Does the University of the Cumberlands require the GRE as part of the admissions process for the PhD program? I'm assuming that the answer is yes.
    I have been thinking of transfering to that school. I am hearing great things about it.

    Also how much is PhD program per credit there? The Ed.D program at AES is $303.00 per credit or just over $900.00 per three credit class.
     
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    I'll second what Matt said about Cumberlands. The coursework is easy for me, but it might not be if I hadn't already spent a decade working in higher education.
     
  7. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

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    Yes, they require the GRE. I applied last fall, and I believe they've added more requirements now. I think there's also additional pre-assessments that are taken through UC as part of the application process. Tuition is $375 per credit, with a fee per course, so it's a little more than your current school. I still think it's rather affordable, however. At my institution we can be reimbursed for coursework at whatever rate Old Dominion University charges. (They're a public university.) ODU currently charges about $450 per credit.

    -Matt
     
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    They require one of the following: the GRE, the Miller Analogies Test, or extra recommendations. I took the MAT rather than the GRE because it takes an hour, costs less than a hundred bucks, and has no math. I don't know why anyone would take the expensive, long GRE when the MAT is an option.
     
  9. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

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    I took the GRE back in 2003 while I was still an undergrad. It did rather well, and luckily I'm a hoarder and kept my score sheet. UC accepted a copy of it. They appeared to be rather flexible a year ago when I applied. I can't say what it's like now. From what I understand, the program is growing, so while that's a good thing, I'm sure they're going to start narrowing down who gets in more than they've previously done.

    -Matt
     
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    No more of the likes of us, eh? :wink:
     
  11. Tom729

    Tom729 New Member

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    My only consern is that at some point in the near future that very low rate of $375.00 per credit is going to be raised. With their overhead it seems uncomprehensable how their tuition can stay that cheap.

    While I would absolutely much more prefer an institution with a physical campus, the 100% online institute is less likley to do that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2014
  12. Tom729

    Tom729 New Member

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    In fact when they lowered their tuition I was initially scared because I thought it was the result of the institution losing their RA accredidation.
     
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    When you have around twenty students in a class each paying around a thousand dollars for it, that's twenty grand in revenue per course. What expenses do you think they have where that would be unsustainably low?
     
  14. Tom729

    Tom729 New Member

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    Historically institutions always incrementally raise their rates. I'm not saying it's done or not done for practical or justifiable reasons.

    I could be totally wrong, it's just doesn't seem likely that their tuition will stay that low. I hope that this is not the case.
     
  15. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

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    UC is also associated with the Baptist Church, and I'm sure the church subsidizes it a bit. I can't say that with 100% certainty, though.

    -Matt
     
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    Hmm. While the affiliation has a strong influence on the culture of the school, at least for campus-based programs, I'm not sure it means a subsidy.
     
  17. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    It does. Schools affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, like University of the Cumberlands, typically get some funding from the state organization. In this case, the Kentucky Baptist Convention is providing $977,779 for UC in 2014-2015 (click on the "CP Budget Goal and Allocations 2014-2015" tab). This is probably only a small percentage of Cumberlands' operating income, but every bit helps.

    This point has actually been in the news lately, because another Baptist-affiliated school in Kentucky, Campbellsville University, has decided to decline further funding from the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Historically, Campbellsville University was funded by the KBC at levels comparable level to Cumberlands. However, KBC funding does come with some significant ideological strings attached, which Campbellsville is apparently no longer comfortable with:

    As far as I know, Cumberlands is still OK with the current arrangement with KBC, and has no plans to follow Campbellsville. Possibly Cumberlands will get more KBC funding in the future, as the funding to Campbellsville is phased out.

    The national Southern Baptist Convention does not fund any schools directly, except for six theological seminaries.
     
  18. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    Incidentally, the new President of the University of the Cumberlands was previously a Dean at College of the Ozarks. The new UC President has previously been the subject of multiple threads here on degreeinfo, involving accusations of a fraudulent doctoral degree. At the time, he was Director of the college's "Center for Character Education".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2014
  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    I agree that's not very meritorious sounding. On the other hand, in the decade since then he's earned a doctorate in higher education administration from Vanderbilt, and apparently done well as a dean at Cumberlands, so it's not like he's not currently qualified for the position, at least academically.
     
  20. Tom729

    Tom729 New Member

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    I actually called the admissions office and left a message with whomever I was supposed to speak with. THey subsequently emailed me information about the application process for either the Ed.D and Ph.D programs.

    Question, I'm not doubting you but are you sure about being able to substitute the MAT/GRE requirement for extra letters of recommendation?

    Secondly do you know what the now new pre assessment tests consist of?
     

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