I'm torn

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by Odin, Sep 21, 2011.

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  1. Odin

    Odin New Member

    I have no idea what to do. I have a BA and an MA from RA universities, and I'd love to get my EdD. I live in a relatively rural area, so B&M universities would be extremely difficult to do. I've looked a few times for online EdD's, but the cost was always so astronomical, it didn't seem worth the heartache of taking on another 40k-60k in loans.

    Then I found Aspen. Apparently if you pay for the first three courses you end up getting the EdD for around 14k or 15k. That's an absolutely amazing price. Then I realized that Aspen wasn't cheap because it was a new university trying to attract students. They're cheap because they are only DETC accredited. To be honest, I don't care how the university is accredited, as long as it is. My problem lies with what others think about it. Will people (districts, boards, other teachers) look at a doctorate from a purely online university like Aspen as a joke? Will it be taken seriously? The more I look into it, the less I see the value in it. It would be a travesty to pay money and more importantly put in the time to get an EdD that the general population would crap on.

    Does anyone have any experience in this? How horrible would it be to be called Dr. and when people ask where you got your EdD you cough loudly and sputter out "Aspen", hoping that they didn't understand and that they won't ask you again. Or maybe you just say, "Oh, I got it from Colorado" and hope they don't inquire where in Colorado.
     
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Most people, even those in academia, know very little about accreditation issues, which is why so many people get away with using degree mill diplomas. If anyone were to question your degree, I think it would be simply to ask if it's accredited, and you could answer affirmatively with a clear conscience.
     
  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know about your case specifically, but I can tell you that in most cases it's only a big deal if you make it a big deal. If you nervously try to gloss over the fact that your school is Aspen, then you basically spit red flags in people's faces who then wonder why you are so ashamed. If you follow through with the degree, and are satisfied with your input and output, then be proud and show it- you would deserve to!

    By the way, if you stuck around on this forum for a bit, you would be amazed to see how far people have gone in their careers with degrees from schools that others nervously shy away from. In contrast, I have a friend who has an AS from American Intercontinental University- a school with big profits and little name recognition. She blows people away in interviews by not only being upfront (when asked) about her degree, but proving herself highly competent by how she defends the school's merits when on the spot. If anything, even if they chose not to agree that her degree is respectable (which has never happened), they would HAVE to be impressed by her confidence and articulation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2011
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I am going to be the Devil's Advocate in this thread. It's hard enough to get a university teaching position, even an adjunct position, but if you start off from a position of disadvantage you're making it even harder. Bruce says that no one will notice but are you willing to hang your career on that assurance? I'd say that if there's anyone in the world who understands university accreditation it's a university. You can not reasonably expect an RA university to hire a DETC EdD when RA EdDs are a dime a dozen. If you have a knock-out resume filled with publications, etc. then that's different but I'm guessing that's not the case here. If you can afford a higher priced RA EdD then this might be the way to go but before you resign youself to that route I'd suggest that you take a hard look at some non-US doctoral programs. Britain, Australia, Southa Africa and even India are all producing distance learning doctoral programs. Some of these are more affordable than the for-profit schools in the USA.
     
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    :scool:
    He didn't mention wanting to get a university teaching position, at least not in this thread. I've read many people more knowledgeable that outside of the world of academia, the distinction isn't anywhere near as strict, even if disparity may exist.

    From the original post, it only sounds like he/she isn't looking for a specific job, but wants to be able to relish in his/her personal accomplishment by using the title- maybe for business or maybe in social situations, though I'd guess both.
     
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    The OP didn't mention a university teaching position....if he/she had, my response would have been much different. I was just addressing the overall perception of accreditation, using the example of academia.

    In any case, I have to respectfully disagree with your main point. Going through the archived threads here, there are dozens and dozens of examples of RA institutions hiring professors with "degrees" purchased from outright diploma mills (Columbia State), never mind a legitimately-accredited NA school.

    Whenever I've applied for a teaching position, I've simply submitted my resume and transcripts. I don't find it necessary or appropriate to point out that all my degrees are from RA schools, that's up to them to determine.

    Probably very few people outside of Massachusetts have heard of Quincy College or Curry College, but I would hope that the University of Massachusetts name carries *some* weight. :eek5:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2011
  7. Odin

    Odin New Member

    I'm not looking to be a professor. I currently teach high school and I'm a History Department chair at a prep school in Arizona. The idea would be to gain personal satisfaction from getting a terminal degree, all the while beefing up my resume just in case I want to get out of the classroom and into a full-on admin position.

    As far as teaching at the university level, I'd be interested in doing some adjunct duty, but nothing more. I've taught an online class before just using my MA, so I'm assuming an EdD wouldn't hurt in that specific niche of education.

    Now, you mentioned the non-US EdD programs. Are these recognized by the US? Are they more highly looked upon than the DETC schools? I'm clueless as how to accreditation works for schools outside the US and how the US perceives said schools.
     
  8. BrianH

    BrianH Member

    I have some thoughts and a few questions.
    In your prep school, do the teachers have to be certified? In the public school setting, all administrators (well in the states I know about) have to be licensed/certified at the building or district level.
    Now for my thoughts
    1. In our state, only RA schools move you up on the salary schedule. A doctorate fron a NA school will not.
    2. I was told this once by my superintendent. When you start in a new district, no one asks where you got your doctorate. The assumption, if they even think about it, is that it is legit. A school board might ask a few questions in more prestigous districts he stated.
    If you stay where you are currently employed, the question (if there is a serious question) is "oh, where did you go"?

    Now my opinion.
    I think Aspen, William Howard Taft, and quite frankly even some RA schools like Capella might get you the "never heard of it" look. But in general, I do not think it is a deal breaker.

    What I am doing...probably.
    Getting a dirt cheap Ed.S. from FHSU and then transferring either to Liberty (36 hours left) or ORU (30 hours left).
    Of course, that has its risks as well...perception wise.
    I have not ruled out a DETC doctorate though.
     
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Northeastern isn't easy to get into these days, but their EdD program is about $25K total, less than half what you're thinking a regionally accredited doctorate in education costs. The University of Memphis also does one by distance, as does Colorado State University, all for half what you're expecting. If Aspen really isn't good enough for you, then consider these schools.

    If you don't mind a Christian environment, then as an historian you may also be interested in Faulkner University's Doctor of Letters program, which focuses on the Great Books.
     
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    OK. First, you're right. The OP never said anything about university teaching. I jumped the gun on that one.

    But, are you actually trying to use that faulty logic? Because a hundred people with bogus degrees got hired you can do it too?
    Really? First of all, that was a loooong time ago. People know more about accreditation and bogus degrees now. Secondly, it more likely that the person was hired on the strength of their Masters degree and then they added the bogus degree after they had been in place for some time (and maybe tenured too). But even if you're right and the person with a bogus degree was hired because no one bothered to check is that really the foundation you want to stand on when recommending doctoral programs? "Sure, go to Knightsbridge, no one will check." Is that your message? (remember - devil's advocate)
     
  11. Odin

    Odin New Member

    I checked out Colorado St., but I couldn't find the Ed.D. I found a bunch of masters programs online, but not doctoral level.

    I have about 50k in student loans right now, so I'm weary about adding more debt. Maybe I should just pay down my loans and after they're gone, try and pay cash for an EdD.

    One program I was VERY interested in was Nebraska. But the only hitch was you had to have an administrative credential already, which I don't have. Nuts.

    Also, according to CTA (California) it's completely up to the individual district as to whether they move you up in pay with an NA degree.
     
  12. Odin

    Odin New Member

    I checked out Colorado St., but I couldn't find the Ed.D. I found a bunch of masters programs online, but not doctoral level.

    I have about 50k in student loans right now, so I'm weary about adding more debt. Maybe I should just pay down my loans and after they're gone, try and pay cash for an EdD.

    One program I was VERY interested in was Nebraska. But the only hitch was you had to have an administrative credential already, which I don't have. Nuts.

    Also, according to CTA (California) it's completely up to the individual district as to whether they move you up in pay with an NA degree.
     
  13. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I personally considered Aspen for my EdD. I called the California Council on Teacher Credentialing to ask what they thought of a DETC degree. They indicated that it is a district level decision in K-12 schools. You would have to contact the district you work, or intend to work, for to find out for sure. Some don't know the difference, some know and don't care and a few know and look down on DETC.

    As others have said, most universities will not even consider you with a DETC degree for a professor position but K-12 positions are possible varying by district.
     
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    CSU Online Plus - College and University Leadership | Doctorate Degree/Ph.D. | Online & Distance - Colorado State University

    I've heard they're also absurdly selective, with only a few spots. But I didn't apply there and don't know personally.

    Fair enough. What about Memphis or Faulkner? They're both regionally accredited.

    -=Steve=-
     
  15. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    If you can teach community college in CA with a DETC diploma, I'd be surprised if there isn't some room to get into an elementary education via a similar route. I'm told the Los Angeles school district is really picky about where degrees are earned, but have not heard much elsewhere on this topic.
     

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