If I could live my life over again...

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by LadyExecutive, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. LadyExecutive

    LadyExecutive Member

    If I could live my life over, I would never get a doctorate in Organizational Leadership and I certainly would not attend Argosy University. I have been looking and applying for teaching opportunities since I graduated in 2012. My grades are stellar. I've earned one B, the rest of my courses netted me A's. In addition to the foregoing, I have college teaching experience, I continue to take a variation of courses that would acclimate me to the different eLearning platforms.

    I've coached seven doctoral dissertations. I've even applied to teach high school and was told I needed to complete at least seven or eight remedial courses, because although I have a doctorate in Organization Leadership, the discipline wasn't recognized as a business degree by the Florida Department of Education, Credentialing. Whenever I get the opportunity to ask why I wasn't considered for an adjunct teaching position in my discipline, that I know I was more than qualified for, I am told that almost everyone has the same degree.

    At the risk of being a killjoy, however, I admit that I have almost given up. I've been spending my time writing my book, 'From Bossholes to Great Boss,'but still very now and again I would submit an application for an Associate Professor position or any position in Higher Learning that I believe matches my education and experience. I took the University of Central Florida Graduate Teaching Course, just to make me more marketable.

    My book is coming along fine, but nothing in the way of teaching online or in person seems to be panning out. I do get lots of 'it will happen' consolation, which I do accept. I had a potential employer as me 'Argosy University? What is that? Never heard of it.' Or something along those lines. Based upon my experiences, I feel more than qualified to advise any person embarking on a college degree, to think carefully about whether or not the discipline they choose will lead to a career that is in demand. Peace!
  2. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member


    What do you think the main issues were?

    Is the market for "adjunct" teaching small or shrinking?
    Is the market reasonable but overwhelmed with better candidates?
    Was the issue a "Ed" vs "PhD"?
    Was the issue "distance education"?
    Was the issue "Organizational Leadership" (i.e. it is a little "fringe")
    Was the issue "Argosy" (i.e. not exactly "top tier")?

    I am not "baiting" but interested in some of the same objectives and trying to understand what you think the obstacles are.
  3. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I think that the problem is that organizational leadership is watered-down I/O psychology, and it doesn't qualify one to teach popular business courses such as accounting and finance. It's not nearly as flexible as a doctorate in business administration. One of my master's professors tried to get me to apply to a PhD in Leadership program that he completed. He got his job based off the credits in his master's degree and military experience, but he's no longer a professor. I don't know what happened to his job at the university, but he hasn't been employed as a professor or instructor in years. I advise against getting a generic doctorate just to check the box with the hopes that your master's will carry you; that is what that professor did. Find out what you want to teach and get your doctorate in that. Don't choose something that is very narrow. Leadership programs are growing in popularity, but the jobs aren't nearly as numerous as they are for business administration, accounting, finance, and other business fields. Schools would probably rather hire someone with a doctorate in business administration who can teach a variety of business courses, including leadership. Leadership courses can also be taught by people with management and psychology degrees.
  4. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    For the past few years, I’ve been saying that leadership is a bullshit major for a doctoral degree. Several people have asked why I feel that way, and thus far, I couldn’t have been bothered explaining it.

    But Shay has provided an excellent basis for the position I’ve held all along. And hers is not the only case I’ve run into recently – I know of two others who hold an Ed.D. in leadership and it has not advanced their careers one iota.

    In my mind, the situation that Shay finds herself in can be attributed to several areas of bullshit:
    • Argosy is a mickey-mouse so-called university that was, at the time of her graduation, a for-profit. Argosy did not become non-profit until 2017 and, even now, its corporate owner has been questioned as to some of its dealings. No, I will not provide details – you lazy asses can look that up yourselves. BTW, when I say so-called university, keep in mind that I have always purported that the phrase online university is an oxymoron. If you don't know what an oxymoron is, that's something else for you to look up.
    • The employer who told Shay that “almost everyone has the same degree” is spot on. For those of you who remember the educational scene 30-something years ago, degrees in organizational management started to come in vogue as traditional colleges started ADP’s (adult degree programs). There was only one major available at the undergrad level: organizational management. In short, by offering only one major, colleges were able to save money by not having to diversify.
    • Over the past 10-20 years, colleges started online doctoral programs and alternative degree titles, again as a means of expanding their income without having to diversify. This was the period in which schools began MSM programs to bait, um, recruit people who didn’t have the prerequisites for an MBA program. Again, organizational management became a popular offering and, expanding it to the doctoral level, organizational leadership became one of the most common offerings today.
    • Let me be clear: Neither organizational management nor leadership are bullshit intrinsically. But they are bullshit as doctoral majors. Much as I hate to give her credit, sanantone’s analysis of this, above, is spot on. Hell, even I had coursework in leadership in my doctoral program, including a Union seminar held in Washington, DC, with a myriad of leadership scholars. It’s a fascinating field, but hardly one that deserves an entire doctoral degree unless your intention is to teach leadership itself. And it should not surprise you to learn that the market for that isn’t out there.
    The problem is that the Ed.D. in Leadership has become an all-serving generic doctorate. Historically, the Ed.D. in Leadership (the old version, not today’s good-for-everybody-and-everything version) was designed to prepare people to be K-12 principals, school superintendents, and even college presidents. Not so anymore, and the result is that people are going for leadership doctorates regardless of their undergrad or first graduate majors.

    Back when I was teaching, one of my schools started a D.Min. program. At the time, many seminaries were establishing similar programs on a low-residency/modular course basis, and the thinking was, “We need to start one, too, in order to be competitive.” Today, the same thing is happening with doctoral programs in leadership. In some cases, as we have seen with U. Cumberlands and even SNHU, schools that had big decreases in their traditional student numbers are starting doctoral programs in leadership to compensate student loss with the gain of a new market.

    The bottom line is that if you have a subject-specific bachelor’s and master’s degree and want to top it off with a one-size-fits-all doctorate in leadership or organizational management, your doctorate will be useless. If gaining a title is all that it’s about, knock yourself out. But don’t expect doors to open and opportunities to present themselves because of your irrelevant doctoral degree.
  5. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I am sorry to hear about your negative experience. I believe the issue is that you have an EdD and not a DBA or a PhD in Business so most schools would not consider you to teach courses in behavioral sciences in business school. I have taught business for close to 20 years and most schools hire people to teach subjects such as finance, accounting, IT, etc. Your background is a hard sell because you cannot teach psychology nor business so you are limited to Educational Leadership that is very narrow.

    A possible solution would be an upgrade with a post doctoral certificate in a subject that is more marketable. I believe Walden has some post doc certificates, you can do something close to your field but more in demand such as HR.
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I believe it is a combination of issues but the most important in my opinion is the subject. Try to find a faculty position that is open for an EdD and requires to teach leadership:

    I couldn't find any. If the OP had a DBA in Accounting from Argosy, I am almost positive that few options would have become available given that there are hundreds of jobs for accounting professors.
    I believe an EdD in Leadership would serve better someone who is already a teacher in a high school or community college and is interested in administration rather than someone interested in a faculty position.
    I am sorry to say but the OP should have done a bit of research of the career possibilities for an EdD in Leadership and figure if this degree would be a good option for her faculty job objectives.
    There is no point to regret what was done already, the OP might want to look what kind of openings are for someone with an EdD. It seems that there are quite few openings in Educational Technology so perhaps a graduate certificate in the area could do the trick. There is also the corporate world, an EdD might be a good option for trainer or training management opportunities.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  7. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    Would that be sufficient or would they want a master's in a business area, such as accounting? (Or do they already possess one? This is unclear. If so, then getting another master's may not be useful.)
    The master's would be a better use of time in my opinion. Human Resources is limiting to just that area, although much less so than educational leadership.

    Ultimately, you want 18 credits in subject matter you will teach. The course prefix should fall under that. That is the minimum to satisfy accreditation requirements, although some places will want more. Keep in mind, even if you undertake more education, it may not mean any job opportunities, although it could help.
  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, bottom line she is blaming Argosy but it seems that she bought the wrong product. She wanted a career in academics but decided to go for an EdD in a subject that is not very easy to sell, the other problem is that it was completed online so there was no opportunity to network or teach part time. She would have been better served with a full time residential program that has part time teaching and networking. The online EdD in leadership as people stated, it seems like just a one size fits all doctorate for people that just needs a doctorate but not ideal for someone looking to break into a new academic career.
    Argosy has registered this program for the careers below and if you notice, there is no mention of tenure track faculty paths.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  9. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    This was the initial response to the original post in this thread. Now that there has been some dialogue, I think it’s a good time to address Greg’s individual questions…
    Nope. Without going through a statistical analysis, I think it’s reasonable to say that it’s doing the opposite. Adjunct positions at colleges and universities have grown, while tenured and tenure-track positions have shrunk. Many schools, let alone departments, are now adjunct driven. And as long as adjuncts can be paid less than full-time faculty and not have to be paid benefits, schools are going to grab any chance they can to move the faculty balance toward increasing the use of adjuncts. But it’s not necessarily institutional growth (although it can be with some schools that move their emphasis toward online programs (like SNHU and U. Cumberlands), it’s more like a sale: As adjuncts increase, full-time faculty decreases.
    In part, yes. But it’s also becoming overwhelmed with mediocre candidates. Why? Because today, everyone want to be a doctor. Even people who would not otherwise consider it are bombarded with ads from the for-profits, and new programs are constantly expanding at the non-profits as well. There is, in short, a continuously increasing doctoral glut, and many of the people earning doctorates shouldn’t be – they’re far too dumb.
    I don’t purport this to be any more than an opinion, but I believe the answer is a partial yes. The Ph.D. is considered a higher degree than the Ed.D., even if it may just be an Ed.D. with icing on it (dissertation). But it’s still considered by academia to be a Cadillac degree, a research degree, and not merely a professional doctorate.
    Partially. Faculty hiring committees are still made up of academics who earned their doctorates the traditional way, and they still have much against those who earned their doctorates non-traditionally. Take, for example, the two people on this forum who attempt to trash my doctorate because it was low-residency. Even though I had more residencies than many of today's online doctoral students, they call it a "Name It and Frame It" doctorate (an expression based on the title of one of my books - you can read about it on Wikipedia. But the only critics I seem to have in that realm are Stanislav (who presumably earned his doctorate from Florida State traditionally) and sanantone (who is pursuing her doctorate traditionally, when she bothers to pursue it at all). Traditionalists are, for one reason or another, hung up about certain aspects of nontraditional education.

    There is, in short, an overwhelming philosophy in academe on the level of, "I paid my dues - and you should, too."
    Absolutely. Whether it’s organizational-fill-in-the-blank or fill-in-the-blank-leadership, as a doctoral major it still amounts to bullshit. Doctoral degrees were never intended to be one size fits all, but that’s what they have become.

    What I find to be fascinating is to consider, say, how Steve Foerster will feel about his Ph.D. in Leadership from U. Cumberlands in a few years. Granted, it’s a Ph.D. rather than an Ed.D., and U. Cumberlands is a non-profit with (at least currently) a decent reputation (although the notion that they are adjunct driven has recently been covered here on DI). But it’s still a doctorate with a leadership major and, in my mind, it’s still a bullshit one-size-fits-all doctorate. The world is staying tuned.
    You betcha. Argosy is a joke, and it continues to get funnier. The switchover to non-profit status is a result of their sale to Dream Center Education Holdings, which is described as a Pentecostal ministry (obviously one with a big budget) that had never been involved in educational management.

    By the way, Dream Center also purchased the Art Institutes from Education Management Corporation, and they have been closing schools out the wazoo, Does anyone think that Argosy, which is reported to have only a 6% graduation rate, will be alive yet alone healthy in, say, five to ten years?
    Oh, go ahead and bait – bait, then bait some more. It’s lots of fun.

    Shay mentioned that she graduated with her Ed.D. from Argosy in 2012. That’s a full half-dozen years ago, when (1) Argosy did not have as bad a reputation as it has today, (2) there was neither as much resistance nor even awareness of for-profit schools’ weaknesses and failures, there was not the plethora of so-called online universities that you see today, and (4) the cult of doctoral degrees in leadership had not yet taken off to its current level of popularity. Even my opinions as expressed here have evolved significantly over the past six years, and I can’t even begin to speculate on the further changes that will take place in higher education over the next six years. But I’m not hopeful, because many of the changes I’ve seen thus far are an indication that higher education is going down the proverbial tubes.

    But hey, what do I care? I’ve already got my Ph.D., it’s RA, it’s subject specific, and it’s opened all the doors I ever tried to open. So I laugh. I laugh again. I laugh some more. And I occasionally tap dance.

    On the other hand, if I didn’t already have my Ph.D., would I go for one today? Hell, no. I don't know that I would have even bothered with a master’s. In fact, when I chucked academia to become an over-the-road trucker, I had so much fun that, if I had known about the field, I would have gone over the road 20 years earlier.
  10. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    I usually let typos go by when I don't catch them on the first edit. But this one requires correction because it changes the context from what I had intended. The last part of the sentence should read, ". . . it’s more like a scale: As adjuncts increase, full-time faculty decreases."
    I make (and leave) occasional typos, of course, to show everyone that I'm not perfect. I'm merely like Mary Poppins, "practically perfect in every way." :cool:
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    There are a couple of points I'd like to make . . . but first the disclaimer: I don't have a doctoral degree of any sort and I've never been a doctoral student/candidate/whatever . . . so I'm not speaking from personal experience, just observation. Two things
    The first is related to degree/credential inflation. Once upon a time a HS diploma was enough for most jobs. Now, not only is Bachelors often inadequate, there is increasing pressure placed on people to be over-qualified to the extent that doctoral degrees often seem necessary in order to compete in the marketplace. If you want to play in that sandbox it often feels like it's the price of admission.
    The second is related to the expanding supply of doctoral degree programs. As Steve suggested, the supply has increased to meet (or create) the demand. I think we all realize that the PhD programs that have been created over the past 10-15 years are not in the area of Math or Physics. Some, admittedly are in IT/CS areas but many are in areas that I might call soft. Lots of wiggle room, lots of post-modern argumentation, a little short on stats, facts and, in my own opinion, rigor. No dissertations, instead they require a "project" It's easy to see how someone might conclude that these degrees are somehow "less than" some other doctoral degrees, regardless of whether that's true on an individualized basis. Clearly this will eventually lead to a point where some people will come to feel that one doctoral degree will be insufficient. We have seen this phenomenon her on our own board. The Dr. Dr. phenomenon. The fact is that a PhD simply isn't what it used to be, at least in some instances and at least in the eyes of some people (some of these being employers).
    Point #2.5 has something to do with Return On Investment and I'm going to put that off for some other day.
    Point #3 has to do with the fact that I can see myself getting drawn into that degree race someday so I'm not critical of anyone who's involved in it too.
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    When I was a kid I read a book called Commune 2000 A.D. (hey, it was written in 1974), in which a worldwide UBI has been instituted and most people spend all their time on leisure. One of the side effects of this is that the doctorate is no longer the highest degree level; the protagonist holds a doctorate but is working on an "academician" degree that requires a subsequent dissertation.
    LadyExecutive likes this.
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    In Europe (France and Germany at least), there is something called "habilitation" that is a post doctoral program that is needed for those interested in becoming academics at research institutions. This requires a list of publications after PhD and a thesis.

    As for degree inflation, If you check the internet, there are quite few faculty members with Argosy degrees (before it was called the University of Sarasota that used to run from a hotel). But as someone mentioned here, a degree from Argosy might have been good 15 years ago with no much competition but with so many better options available, the degree seems to be not that useful anymore.

    I used to an online adjunct and was able to land jobs with a MS degree in Computer Science, eventually this became difficult and upgraded to a DBA in Information Systems. This helped me to remain employed in the online adjunct world but then I was lucky to land a full time position at a traditional school. Now I hardly teach online mainly because it is very hard to land teaching jobs, many schools do discriminate against a DBA in Information Systems and prefer a PhD in Computer Science or IS. Bottom line is that degree inflation is indeed making our life difficult as employers start putting higher barriers due to the proliferation of online doctorates.
    The OP with the EdD in Leadership most likely would have been able to land a job teaching business classes in the 90s or early 2000s when people with PhDs in History were teaching at business schools. We have some old faculty members with PhD is odd subjects teaching at MBA programs from non top schools but I am sure these people would have not made it today with so much competition.
  14. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    [Duplicates next message - text deleted.]​
  15. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Let's extend this . . .

    It's not just the notion of an Argosy degree that will get you down these days. We have several students on this forum going for a doctorate in leadership (both Ph.D. and Ed.D.) at U. Cumberlands. which has been revealed to be yet another adjunct-driven program. Once they graduate, I have a feeling that they will find their degrees largely worthless. Useless. Worth nada. Zilch. Bupkiss. Just another doctorate du jour.

    At which point, I will be able to say, with a gleeful shit-eating grin on my face, "Told ya so!"

    Pardon me if I start laughing early . . .

  16. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree that the PhD in Leadership at U.Cumberlands is adjunct driven but well designed for this purpose. The program is soft but with a specialization that require 18 credits that is enough to adjunct in a subject at a University. I could do a PhD in Leadership with specialization in Information Systems that qualifies me to teach computer information systems at some university. The program offers specializations in Health Science, English, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Information Systems, Nursing, Ministry and others, it is a clever program design that provides that one size fits all approach. Not a convincing program for a tenure track position but it seems to be driven towards people that want to adjunct. Not useless as you described and good enough to adjunct, it is a good program for the price that is about half than any other similar program.
  17. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    LadyExecutive, thank you for sharing your situation with us. I am sure it is frustrating that your career opportunities have not met your expectations. As someone on the verge of pursuing a doctorate at some point in the near future, it is worthwhile to see different perspectives. I know there are many factors that have contributed to your current position but do you mind sharing any corporate/non-profit/government experience that has helped build your resume in your pursuits within academia?
    LadyExecutive likes this.
  18. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    You can't live your life over, but you can still live your life. What stops you from pursuing a second doctorate that's more discipline-specific and from a more highly-regarded school? Worried about age? (Of course I don't know your age, and not inclined to ask) I once heard someone talking about that phenomenon, can't remember who it was, maybe Dear Abby or Paul Harvey, and they said words to the effect of: "Someone once approached me and said 'I'd like to go back to college and get that degree, but do you know what age I'd be when I finish in four years?' And I replied: 'And if you don't go back to college, you'll still be that same age in four years anyway, except without a degree."
    LadyExecutive likes this.
  19. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    I could see it working if they're already in academia and doing it to check a box. And Cumberland is, at least, a legitimate B&M universty. There are some schools, such as FHSU, where they evidently encourage biz faculty to pursue doctorates from Northcentral. You can also find a number of people with Argosy and Argosy-equivalent doctorates on the faculty of some decent 4 year and masters-granting universities, but again, I suspect it's when they already have the foot in the door that they pursue this--such as you mentioned earlier in this thread. Such programs do have their places, but when a total and complete outsider to academia figures they can worm their way in in this manner, figuring any doctorate will suffice for teaching as an adjunct, they're setting themselves up to fail. Who is it out there who thinks being an adjunct is all that great and worth putting four to six years and tens of thousands into a PhD from a lower-tier school or a for-profit? Low pay, lowly-regarded, here today, gone tomorrow. The only reason I worked five long years as an adjunct was to get good experience to enable me to take a shot at getting into FT academia, and even then, getting here, I've found it to still be a struggle. That's life.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  20. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    There are some very legitimate, affordable, flexible programs out there, such as Indiana State's PhD in Technology Management. We had a guy who went there who got on the FT faculty of my AACSB school. Had snazzy bright blue PhD regalia, also.
    LadyExecutive likes this.

Share This Page