Microversity

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Rich Douglas, Aug 29, 2020.

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  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    So, I'm toying around with the idea of starting a "microversity" consisting of one program (and one only). It would be a professional doctorate in human resource development (DHRD). Design features would include:

    • Educational prerequisite: earned master's in any field
    • Professional prerequisite: 5 or more years of full-time experience in HRD
    • Subject: Strategic HRD
    • Method:
      • Non-residential
      • Self-paced "taught" component with prepackaged "courses" consisting of readings and learning materials, and measured by papers written on a selection of discussion questions. (Students get the materials, then get a list of 4 discussion questions, selecting one and writing a 5,000-word paper about it.)
      • Internship guided by a coach/mentor, resulting in a strategic work product
      • Successful pursuit of the Certified Professional in Talent Development designation
      • Doctoral thesis of no more than 50,000 words, the result of which advances the practice of HRD
    • The entire process would be guided by a properly certified and degreed coach
    • The school would pursue DEAC accreditation
    • The school would partner with leading organizations in the field, including the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and Chief Learning Officer magazine
    • Target audience: HRD practitioners looking to advance their careers to the highest level
    • Outcome: graduates would be prepared to assume roles at the top of the profession, to practice strategic HRD, and to help lead the profession of HRD
    • Price: Comparable to other doctoral programs from DEAC-accredited schools.
    There are two entities working in this market, both universities. U of Penn has an EdD for Chief Learning Officers. But it is very small (they've graduated a total of perhaps two dozen in more than 5 years) and very expensive (tuition is more than $120,000). George Mason University has a 6-month certificate program as well.

    Why a doctorate? Several reasons. First, the degree is designed for practitioners to advance their knowledge to the highest levels of professional practice. Second, the thesis is designed to create real, practical, useful knowledge. Third, credentialing and career growth. Finally, to enhance the HRD profession by expanding its best thinking beyond mere technical practice.

    Why DEAC? Because it fits the professional doctorate approach, and the school would be too small (without being affiliated with an other accredited university) for the regionals to bother. Finally, this is a professional doctorate, not a scholarly one, so DEAC accreditation would make sense. This would also help keep costs lower.

    Title IV? No. Too small to maintain that kind of administrative overhead. Look instead to corporate sponsorship and individuals paying.

    How much of this is done? Other than a specific design for the degree, none. It's a notion I thought I'd toss out there for discussion. Looking forward to comments and questions.
     

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  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    One of the things that might be good to consider for a professional doctorate is that a dissertation doesn't always have be a monograph. Would you necessarily want them to end up doing a "five chapters" dissertation, or would you consider encouraging them to do a series of related papers, which they might then be able to publish elsewhere, thereby helping propagate new thoughts about the discipline to those who practice it?
     
    RoscoeB likes this.
  3. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Wow . . . So now Rich Danzig wants to start his own university. Oh, excuse me, that’s Rich Douglas. The latest joker to play the educational version of, “Hey, kids, let’s put on a show!” – “Hey, kids, let’s start, um, a microversity!”

    Cool. No one has done that around here since the Rich’s first responder, Steve Foerster, with his “New World University” sham (despite Steve not having a doctorate at all at this point). Or David Lady, with his Willliam Loveland College flim-flam. Or the one-man Columbia Evangelical Seminary scam.

    When are these morons going to realize that there is no such thing as a legitimate university that’s a one-man show? And that, “Gee, I think I’ll start a university” is living in fantasyland?

    Speaking of a blast from the past, anyone remember Emir Ali Mohammed? Got himself a couple of legit distance degrees, then felt he was qualified to start his own university after he affiliated with an established degree mill and got called on his bullshit.

    Unfortunately, in his recent retirement to Tuscon, Rich has likely lost his purpose – so he feels he needs a new one. (Yes, Rich is now in Arizona according to his LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rich-douglas-92b71b52/. It also shows that he’s so successful with his two doctorates that he is now the president of, um, Rich Douglas Consulting. But at least he has a funny looking picture.)

    One problem is that his past is waaaaaaaay too tainted, which brings me to the Danzig joke I started out with . . . Rich was dumb enough to become a shill for MIGS, a notorious degree mill – for some real comedy, see the MIGS Forum here on DegreeInfo. And as much as he cleaned his act up enough to eventually earn a Ph.D. at my alma mater and a doctorate at a respected British university, he suddenly thinks he is qualified to not only start a university but also issue doctoral degrees to others.

    Rich, if anyone, should know that granting a doctorate is not a one-man show. And that if anything should happen to him, his “microversity” would stand no more a chance of surviving than New World, Loveland, or CES. And students who are dumb enough to enroll in Rich’s latest degree mill would be screwed, not to mention having to defend their so-called doctorate if they actually graduate.

    A DHRD degree? Give me a break. Accredited by DEAC? At least I’m consistently on record as considering DEAC a joke when it comes to accrediting doctorates. But hey, it will be nice to have Rich back in the game. I look forward to ridiculing him to the hilt if he continues in his latest scam.

    Meanwhile, Rich, don’t get too bored in your Arizona retirement . . . Try a day trip or two. And remember to wear a mask – it will improve your looks.
     
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Hi, Steve! Helpful as always. You are so predictable.

    I'm not retired. But thank you!

    Oh, and no one said it would be a "one-man" show. Or even a one-person show, for those of you living in this century.

    After all these years, you're still getting MIGS wrong, Steve. I realize you've never been one for rigor, nor accuracy, so I don't expect anything more.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is a great question. For the professional doctorate, I like getting away from the traditional 5-chapter method. That design was/is for preparing people to be academic scholars. I think it remains necessary to master one's field, as well as find a niche yet unexplored ("original contribution). And I do think the product should be based in research, but not limited to it--again, to ensure its originality. Given these things, your example would be a reasonable (and possibly preferable) approach.
     
    felderga likes this.
  6. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    It is an interesting concept. My big question is: how would this benefit the student? If they are already in Human Resource Development, and have a minimum of 5 years of experience, how would a Doctorate in Human Resource Development help them in their career? I’d imagine a doctorate from a new “microversity” would not necessarily assist them in moving into an Adjunct or TT Professor role. I’d also imagine it would not help them move into a higher position. However, I could be wrong and I do look forward to you proving me wrong! :)
     
  7. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I don't care for all these doctorates with those weird postnominal letters (DHRD). First, it was Ed.D. (not bad), DBA (not bad), DPA, DNP, DSS, DGS, DCJ, DSI, D.Soc.Sci. D.Mgt., DSL, D.Msc., DEL, D.Min, STD (not the one you earn sexually) :D TF, when will it stop?!

    But, good luck with your plan.
     
    Dustin likes this.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Let's not look to prove anyone right or wrong. Instead, let's embrace your good points in this post.

    No, it's not designed to advance someone in an academic setting. Professional degrees, especially those accredited by DEAC, aren't designed to do that.

    What this does is provide an intense grounding in strategic human resource development (yes, that's a thing) and to prepare practitioners for practicing at the profession's highest levels.

    But why a doctorate? Because our profession's leaders need to go beyond "mastering" (wink) the extant body of knowledge. They need to push the boundaries of the field into new areas. The doctorate is about doing that: creating something new.

    The utility of the credential itself falls into the same argument about whether or not a doctorate can help advance a person in his/her career. Nothing's new there. Instead, it is what one learned and does in the course of getting the degree that is mostly career-enhancing. The credential certainly wouldn't hurt.

    I really appreciate your thoughts on this!
     
    Maniac Craniac and JoshD like this.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Does it have to stop? It's no different at other degree levels. In fact, I would suggest it is even more so at the bachelor's and master's level.
    Oh, it's not a plan. It's an idea. And I very much value your comments about it. Thanks!
     
  10. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Can I chip in the Doctor of Cybersecurity Management (DCM)?:D
     
  11. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Go for it. You have the education, the background, the knowledge, and a strong passion for the field with a Doctorate to back it up. People could certainly benefit.

    I would love to see a course or a part of a course that focuses on accreditation systems and the major issues attached to them. It would help to address all of the confusion that's still out there even after all of these years and all of the readily available information.
     
  12. newsongs

    newsongs Active Member

    An exciting concept... keep us updated Rich!
     
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    As long as it doesn't get confused with the other DCM - Dilated Cardiac Myopathy - NOBODY wants that! (Dogs get it too...)
     
  14. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Great idea Rich. Keep us updated
     
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Sounds like it might be good as a course - or a series of courses, possibly - in an M.Ed. program - or an Ed.S. I certainly don't think there needs to be a special Doctorate - not that Learning Addict suggested there was. Perhaps even entire M.Ed. or Ed.S. specialty programs in this field. Ones with International emphasis might be good for people who want to specialize in credential evaluation etc. or work with companies that source offshore learning programs for use in their own countries.

    Good idea - perhaps future grads could settle arguments around here. We could make them moderators! I hear the pay is the pits, but the work can be um... interesting, I have no doubt. :)
     
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Or perhaps grads of the "Understanding Accreditation" program could have a career opening their own Accrediting Agency - for DI people who start their own Universities. :)
     
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    In my Union PhD, I specialized in Nontraditional Higher Education and wrote a dissertation on the accreditation status of schools and its impact on degree acceptability.
     
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It's been done, but no such agency has ever achieved DoE or CHEA recognition. In fact, there has been only one serious attempt.
     
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Huh? I never knew that. I figured if an outfit like ACICS could do it, anybody could. :D
     
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    IIRC, ACICS has a normal origin story, as opposed to being created by one school for the purpose of self-accreditation.

    Back in the old days, like the 1980s, it was hard for DL schools to get accredited. DEAC was just starting to accredit schools offering academic degrees. (Meaning, degrees beyond vocational associate's degrees.) The regionals were tough to deal with--even well-established schools like Walden and Union struggled. There were a lot of really good schools that just couldn't get accredited. One pretty good one, Western Colorado University, decided to form its own accrediting agency, forming the National Association for Private Nontraditional Schools and Colleges. It was a sincere effort

    Unlike self-accrediting diploma mills, Western Colorado set up the NAPNSC to accredit not just it, but other schools, too. They shared office space and staff with WCU. Funny thing, they didn't just accredit WCU out of the gate. WCU was a candidate for accreditation for quite some time. Again, this was a sincere effort.

    Over time, the NAPNSC accredited a handful of schools. But some of those schools left when they were subsequently accredited by the DEAC. It got to where (a) they were accrediting just four schools and (b) they were getting nowhere with CHEA (then "COPA). Eventually, the association (like WCU) simply faded away.

    (Hey, how about that! I hijacked my own thread!)
     

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