Meet the new Mega-University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Kizmet, Nov 21, 2018.

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  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. Lerner

    Lerner Active Member

    to read the article linked in the main message requires a subscription.

    I visited the Southern New Hampshire U website. It's like "Amazon" for higher education, they cover a lot of disciplines etc.
     
  3. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    I don't know that I'd heard of SNHU until a few years ago.
     
  4. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    I couldn't read it either. Just the first two sentences:

    "Fast-growing Southern New Hampshire University represents a new breed of nonprofit institution driven by scale. Could it transform higher education?"

    It looks to me like SNHU is trying to do what U of Phoenix did, creating an institution "driven by scale". Ever-growing scale, where growing the institution kind of becomes an end in itself.

    The Obama administration, driven by the teachers' unions (and perhaps their own distrust of capitalism) blamed it on educational institutions being "for profit", and set about trying to destroy for-profit higher education. A very bad move in my opinion.

    Except, here's a "non-profit" university doing it too. (So, what is SNHU trying to maximize if it isn't growth for shareholders?)

    I couldn't read the opinion-piece, but I'd guess that professorial working conditions and pay appear in it somewhere. There's probably fear that too many adjuncts are being employed (a valid concern from the student perspective), that professors aren't receiving tenure (a good thing in my opinion), and assorted horrors like that.
     
  5. zetro332

    zetro332 New Member

    All indications point to it being nothing more than a diploma mill.
     
  6. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

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  7. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Depends on how one defines "diploma mill", I guess.

    It's regionally accredited by NEASC or the NECHE, or whatever they call themselves now. (It's the 'New England Commission on Higher Education' since the higher education accrediting functions were separated from the K-12 functions.) So I'm reasonably confident that the education that one receives from SNHU meets minimum RA standards, and hence is comparable to the education one receives at other accredited schools, at the low end at least.

    They have been expanding dramatically since their last accreditation review though. Their next one is penciled in for 'Fall 2019'. So I expect that the accreditors will pay close attention to how well they maintain their standards throughout their DL offerings and the many remote-site branches they run, some off-shore in Asia and places like that.

    https://cihe.neasc.org/about-our-institutions/roster/southern-new-hampshire-university
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  8. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Or Fall 2018, rather. So SNHU's latest accreditation review might already be underway. Which might be behind what stimulated the opinion-piece in the OP and scrutiny on SNHU now. Somebody might be trying to influence the review.

    I'm inclined to trust the accreditor (more or less) and think that if SNHU's rapid expansion has been accompanied by a fall in standards, the accreditation review should catch it.
     
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    I've often joked that as far as most people are concerned, a "degree mill" is any school less prestigious, however slightly, than the one from which they graduated.

    But jokes aside, there's no reasonable definition of that term that includes SNHU. Simply put, you're calling them names just because you don't like them, and if you want to be taken seriously around here, you'll have to do better than that.
     
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  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    There's nothing like a poorly informed newbie who wants to throw down . . .
     
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  11. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    I was informed their rapid online expansion was due to the college having decreasing enrollment and poor prospects for the future as far their physical campus was concerned, so expansion to online was a deliberate attempt at survival for a struggling, moribund institution.

    An opinion piece in the Chronicle would have no bearing whatsoever on its accreditation review.

    I have no knowledge of the quality of its offerings or if quality has been decreased due to rapid expansion, but it certainly is no diploma mill. It is not prestigious either, but I certainly would not compare it to its for-profit brethren, such as University of Phoenix, etc.
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Why not? The only real difference between them is that SNHU trumpets "NON-PROFIT!!!" in all their ads. But both are marketing-driven institutions.
     
  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    This would describe a remarkably high percentage of colleges in the US and describing SNHU as moribund is rather hyperbolic, unless you'd care to actually offer some evidence.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/richardvedder/2018/07/05/academic-deserted-villages/#638d393f5121
     
  14. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    There was an article a few years ago that said that SNHU was modeling itself off of University of Phoenix. However, there are some differences.

    SNHU is not opening up a bunch of campuses in strip malls and business towers, they don't go out of their way to recruit veterans with brain injuries, I haven't heard about SNHU recruiters lying to single mothers at job fairs, and their current tuition is cheaper than UoP's tuition several years ago. Currently, their undergraduate courses are $320 per credit hour. I remember University of Phoenix's online courses being over $500 per credit hour almost a decade ago. SNHU has also remained traditional enough that it can still be ranked by U.S. News. U.S. News usually doesn't rank non-traditional schools outside of the online degree categories.
     
  15. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    I had stated that that was the case in the past, prior to their recent efforts. It is not any longer. That was what I was told in conversation by a reliable source. This is what led to their online expansion. If you go read their Wikipedia page, it seems to confirm that, on some level, although I would hardly consider Wikipedia a credible source.
     
  16. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    I have never seen an ad for either one, so I couldn't say, as I do not subscribe to TV services. SNHU is nonprofit and regionally accredited, and I hold great value in regional accreditation. If they lose that, then I would categorize them differently. As I mentioned, I was told their online expansion was because they were very much struggling. Given their circumstances, it seems the proper choice was made. I am sure advertising is distasteful, but it doesn't necessarily mean they have compromised the quality of education as a U. of Phoneix and its brethren haven.
     
  17. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    University of Phoenix is regionally accredited.
     
  18. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    Surprising. I do not keep up with such places, and I do not endorse SNHU. I am just relaying background information.
     
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I reliable source , , , who apparently has no name . . . whatever.

    I don't know why this issue has even entered the discussion. There's no indication from anywhere that their accreditation is even being considered.
     
  20. dlbb

    dlbb Active Member

    Point taken, I will refrain from providing background information if I am unwilling to drag other people into this, although as indicated some of this information appears to be in their Wikipedia as well, so it doesn't seem to be anything not known already.
     

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