I am leaving the NCU DBA program........

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by truckie270, Apr 23, 2007.

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  1. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Your argument seems plausible for maximizing profit, IF the accrediting body does not ultimately withdraw accreditation from the for-profit school. However, that is one big, fat IF. Any time you take orders and payment, you must be absolutely certain you can fill those orders. Why should a consumer buy a chance to receive a product when they can buy the real product from another supplier? Perhaps students should explore selective-enrollment doctoral programs before gambling on having no diploma and no professors with an open-enrollment, overbooked doctoral program in a for-profit school. If accreditation is threatened by breaking rules and questionable scholarship, then "it would have worked IF..." will be shouted as the cell door slams shut.

    Good science and big profits rarely go hand in hand; the scenario describing the fictitious, open-enrollment doctoral program at a for-profit school illustrates point this clearly. You can't sell 10 diplomas to 200 students.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2007
  2. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    That's the point...

    The point is to maximize profits from their perspective.

    The accrediting commission can't yank accreditation (for that at least) until it is proven that they really are running a ponzi and that they can't fill the orders they accepted payment for. I think that if the for-profits are providing a good service to their clients, have the professors on hand when the demand hits, and meet the accreditors requirements they have a perfectly acceptable chance to thrive.

    I personally would never attend a for-profit school (again) unless the price of attending was substantially lower than a non-profit. I attended Ashworth College (a subsidiary of PCDI) for my AS degree. I enjoyed the school and the topics taught. I didn't need to waste time talking to people. I just did my work and got my degree. Since then I've attended WGU (a non-profit virtual U), Berea (a non-profit B&M), and Jefferson State (a non-profit State junior college). What they offered me was a faster, cheaper, and smarter way to an entry degree. I gave them money, did my work, and took my degree. I don't see how it would be different at the PhD-level.

    I expect to find an RA/NA accredited college (whether non-profit or for-profit, I don't really care) at less than $200 per credit hour for a PhD or DBA program with my desired specialization(s) to be performed via correspondence-learning using a mixture of online research and textbook learning, my competency to be measured via examinations and papers. I expect that what I find will be a newly starting program (like Ashworth and WGU were when I joined) in which I can learn at my own pace and have some impact on the program.

    If you know of or hear of any such beasts, please let me know.

  3. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Will do. I don't know if anything Stateside in that price range; I believe that Columbia Southern's DETC DBA is more than that per unit. You may want to either go up a little on price or shop South Africa. I imagine that CCU will soon launch their DBA again under DETC and the price might be similar to Columbia Southern. Of course, with the DETC doctorates you'll be faced with the utility of them being in the undefined area of between the RA Ph.D. (w/o AACSB) and the CA State Approved doctorate. Overall, the tuition cost is a secondary factor to the degree and utility of the degree.

    Have you considered something touchy, feely outside of technology and business to give you an added dimension? Two completely different animals that I think are worth looking into are Aspen's DETC MS Education and University of London's MS in Social Research. Anyway, its always fun to imagine all the possibilities.

  4. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 Member

    Not so fast...

    I know that isn't true at the University of Florida where my professors practice equal opportunity grading. Of course I think they actually discriminate in favor of those who are bless with genius or work their asses off. Do you think I can get a civil rights lawyer to take my case?
  5. dlady

    dlady Active Member

    Capella graduated 499 PhD's in the past year (http://www.ncahlc.org/index.php?option=com_directory&Itemid=192&Action=ShowBasic&instid=2103) and are in good accreditation standing.

    This entire argument is bunk if you look at the numbers. Check out my prior poorly formatted post.

    R E D H E R R I N G
  6. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    Not fair...

    I'm just trying to respond to Dave Wagner. My argument has been logically verified by proof (at least from one source). Capella with 500 PhDs? Awesome! I'd bet that with these numbers the for-profits will be gravy for the owners at least for the next seven to ten years.

    I'm willing to accept all options and costs at this point. I've only found one $170 per credit hour PhD that's RA and that one doesn't specialize my direction. Yes, touchy feely might be nice but are you suggesting a second masters prior to taking PhD level work?


  7. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Yes, unless you want to teach full time in higher education, the Ph.D. might be too much work. Earning a second or even third masters degree might be more doable, enjoyable, and economically viable. Your age, current career, and number of years to retirement are also factors to consider.

    Please refresh my memory on the low tuition Ph.D. you've spotted.

  8. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Bingo! Yes, graduating everybody who applies is one solution to the fictitious, for-profit open-enrollment doctoral scenario, assuming that the graduates do indeed become scientists, the regional accrediting body approves over the long-haul (no guarantees), and the students won't be laughed at when they apply for teaching positions.

    Are you suggesting that Capella has an open-enrollment doctoral program or has broken some quota, or do you have another school in mind?

  9. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    I can tell you from my personal experience that no one laughed at my Capella credential when I applied for my teaching position - and my credentials have not been an issue at conferences I have presented at.

  10. buckwheat3

    buckwheat3 Master of the Obvious

    Oh I agree many professors are equal opportunity graders however, the administrations agenda might be slightly different. I simply believe administration officals at for-profits and non-profits alike are concerned about filling the seats and professors do the culling. Not so much that professors crap the students out but instead students crap out for whatever reasons...and there are many!

    Now if every school in the nation had a waiting list, then naturally admission standards would be higher, just about everywhere. Likewise if all the schools did not have a waiting list then I also believe the admission standards would be reduced across the board.

    I would not hammer on anybody's school.... except FHSU, and that was from personal experiences. However I did have a few good prof's at FHSU!

    RA or NA, I see the whole affair as knowledge earned is knowledge gained but I will say that anything other than RA will be a tougher row to hoe for the individual. Sure there are success stories out there by the dozens with NA degrees but it is probably more difficult to get acceptance with NA. It might not be fair but that is how society plays the game...in fact it's kinda sad. EXCEPT in cases when the stakes are higher, as in dealing with people's lives.

    I will not be a degree snob, there are plenty in these fourms and another one would only complicate the whole affair with flames.

    But since you brought up the University of Florida, I will say this.....aw forget it...just kidding...knock'em dead Joann!
  11. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    I can think of one Capella Ph.D. who graduated three or four years ago and has had good success with getting hired, to the best of my knowledge. I'm sure there must be others, too.

  12. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    Well...alright...I didn't find it...

    Except through Degreeinfo.com.

    It is the DPA offered by Valdosta State (RA). They are offering locality tuition for distance learners in this new program.

  13. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    One thought

    Yes - A 3.0 in a masters program is a common standard in the DL doctoral game. But how much of a hurdle is this?

    Effectively, requiring a 3.0 in a masters program is the same as saying "... have earned a masters degree". Why? Virtually all masters programs require a 3.0 to graduate.

    A stronger requirement - one used by NSU (my alma mater) - is to require the GMAT or GRE with a score of 500 or above. I was told by the director of the DBA program at NSU that low GMAT scores correlated strongly with people not finishing dissertations. NSU tried a "portfolio" approach - and returned to the GMAT.

    I'm starting to wonder about the new world of DL - seemingly a person can go from undergraduate to doctorate without ever facing a nationally normed exam that demonstrates their competence. Without proctored exams and given grade inflation - what does earning a doctorate mean? Seemingly less and less...

    My concern is that doctoral programs with no requirement but a masters with 3.0 - and with no early tough tests to weed out weak students - will end up graduating virtually everyone who hangs around. Why? DL programs seem to have a tough time saying "tough luck" to weak students. Seemingly once you're in - you'll finish if only you perservere.

    Regards - Andy

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2007
  14. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    Let's be fair here...

    The point of education is to take "weaker" students and move them incrementally, day-by-day towards becoming "stronger" students. As best I understand it, there is no law that says "To be a PhD and a Master's holder you must be the top 10 percentile in intelligence and scholastic ability". The requirements differ somewhat based on the program but unless the program is poorly designed, all the requirements are laid out for student and professor to see and each requirement builds the student's capabilities so that line upon line the student gains the skills necessary to meet the requirements.

    I believe just that, everyone will finish what they start if they persevere.

    I believe that it is the wrong thing to be teaching our children/the next generation of scholars that "You can't do scholarily work, so you shouldn't keep trying" or "You'll never earn that PhD because you don't have what it takes." I'm sorry, anything that Marco Polo or Genghis Kahn or Albert Einstein can do, I CAN do too. It might take me a bit of practice to get my mind into the shape of an Einstein or build my world domination skills like those of Genghis, but I can do it too with enough time and preparation.

    The same for PhDs and Masters. We as teachers have the obligation to prepare our students to pass the degree program they have started. While ultimately the responsibility for passing or failing rests with the student, it is our duty to break the requirements down into "chunks of competencies" that are manageable by ANYONE. It will cost more, if the mind or willpower aren't there because we will have to subdivide existing competencies as many as five or six times but any student should be able to pass if they keep trying.

    Speaking of that, I can't stand the snobbishness of some in academia and business. (Not saying that anyone on this board is snobbish, particularily not Andy Borders - whose opinion I have always found to be sensible). What I'm saying is the concept that my students will fail, is unbearably inaccurate. Anyone can pass anything if they try hard enough.

    That's my two cents about this topic.

    I'll tell you this on the previous topic...Kaplan has been experimenting with Capella graduates over the past six months or so. We've had one graduate not worth her salt but have found another who actually is very impressive and organized. She's doing a good job for us/them.

  15. bing

    bing New Member

    I think that perseverance is the key no matter if it is a DL program or one from Yale. Yale isn't likely accepting those with scores of just 500 on the GRE. So, why is it that everyone starting a doctorate at Yale isn't completing the doctorate? I suggest that those who do so only do it through perseverance...even at Yale.

    Comp exams must be taken by those prior to entering the dissertation phase, too. That exam may further weed out those people not ready for the dissertation. While this exam is not a normalized exam, it is another hurdle prior to the dissertation.

    OK. So, the requirement to actually obtain the doctorate is to complete the dissertation. You say that the DL programs can't say no to the weak students. If a weak student completes all the coursework and then can't get the dissertation done what happens? You think the student will keep paying that kind of tuition in perpetuity to keep registering for the dissertation credits(it could happen but seems unlikely to me)?

    Once you are done with the coursework no school is likely to allow you to keep taking the same courses over and over again just to stay in the program. How would that look to accreditors? They may allow you take other coursework, though. For example, if you are in an ed program they may allow you to take coursework in management. That's like obtaining another master's, though.

    Likely, when you say DL you aren't talking about anything but the NCU's, TUI's, and Capellas. Right? Or even the NA programs? Let's get specific here on what you are talking about, please. Maybe you include Nova, Valdosta, or Nebraska?

    I think that weak students likely won't get through the dissertation phase. If they do, then maybe they did stick around for a while and persevere. If so, they probably learned enough on the journey to actually complete it.


  16. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member


    Point well taken.

    I can't say that my doctoral work to date has been easy though - and my MBA comes from an AACSB institution.

    In the end, I would like to believe that the comp exams and the dissertation are the sifters in any doctoral program. I recall that at one of my residencies one of the Capella core faculty stated that about 40% of doctoral learners earn the doctorate. There are three "critical points": the first two quarters, the comp exam, and the dissertation.

    If a weak learner "hangs in there" and does graduate with a substandard dissertation - the academy may weed out the unqualified doctorate by not publishing his/her work, not hiring the graduate, etc.

  17. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    You make a lot of good points. IMO the dissertation phase is definately a weed-out point where the herd is thinned. It's interesting that your alma mater found a strong correlation between a strong GMAT and actually completing a dissertation. Maybe a GMAT or a GRE should be required for entrance into a DL doctoral program; but that would deny many people an opportunity to achieve their dream.
  18. dlady

    dlady Active Member

    As I see it the ‘open enrolment fictitious problem” is not a good problem, since as far as I can tell there is no solution that directly affects the premise.

    If FP graduate many, then no rigor
    If FP graduate few, then revenue conspiracy
    If FP graduate the same as everyone else, then open enrolment means low quality graduates

    ‘Good’ problems have premise that can be tied to conclusions and are testable, preferably with all other things left equal.

    If the theory is true, I can not find anything that substantiates it at all.
  19. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Very well written dlady. Dave Wagner has repeatedly been asked to provide a solution to his hypothesized problem, but he's repeatedly skirted the issue. How convenient. :rolleyes:
  20. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    This may be the case - but in the US DL programs I've seen, self selection eliminates candidates, not the institution. Maybe that's ok - but I have to wonder if some sub-standard work gets through.

    Regards - andy

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