No DETC at Naval Postgraduate School Free Masters

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by warguns, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    One wage to gauge programs is to look at the credentials of the faculty in that program. Texas State University's criminal justice PhD program is just a few years old. The first group of people graduated in 2013, so it hasn't had a chance to gain a reputation. So, what did I do? I looked at the faculty credentials. All of the professors graduated from top schools in criminal justice/criminology, sociology, and law. These schools are top schools not only because they are selective, but because they put out top research.

    Several of our professors left their positions at top sociology and criminology schools to take part in developing our program. Three of the professors have "celebrity" status in the academic world of criminology. One of the professors has written THE textbook for criminal justice ethics that is used in colleges and universities across the country. Another one of those three professors was a consultant for the television show Numb3rs and the movie Zodiac. The other professor was one of the two people who developed the Routine Activity Theory. There is yet another professor who isn't a "celebrity," but he is regularly called by governments for consultation and to be an expert witness. He is currently working on a high-profile case.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2014
  2. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The implicit assumption here is that we can identify the best schools because they tend to attract the best faculty. This is similar to the assumption that we can identify the best schools because they tend to attract the best students, as noted in Post #20 above.

    In practice, some college rankings do use this criterion; they include factors like the % of profs with PhDs, or they try to quantify faculty quality by looking at number of citations or awards for research.
  3. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    For me, it's not so much why the faculty are attracted to the program; it's that the best faculty are there. They have to potential to make the program great. I don't know how important it is to most students that they are surrounded by the best students. I'm more concerned about learning from the most knowledgeable professors. It is nice, however, to be able to hold intellectual conversations with classmates. I found that to be a struggle at the community and for-profit colleges I attended. Many of my classmates were near illiterate.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2014
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Is TSU's PhD in CJ online, residential, or both?
  5. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    It's only residential.
  6. warguns

    warguns Member


    In real science we recognize that the measurement of any variable has flaws. Regardless, if we are to do anything we need to measure the variable. One can whinge endlessly that academic quality and faculty reputation are not perfect measures of academic quality. Regardless, measures are needed and until better ones are developed they have to and will be used. The top-rated "national university" in US News is Princeton. The lowest with a numerical ranking is: University of North Carolina--Charlotte. (there are others that are ranked but US News does not publish the number and there are others, unranked).

    Do we not all agree that Princeton has more "academic quality" than UNC-Charlotte.
  7. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Darn! Do you know of any PhD's in CJ (or PhD's in Sociology with Criminology emphasis) that are offered by dl?
  8. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    University of the Rockies has an online PsyD with a concentration in Criminology and Justice Studies.
  9. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Thank you, I'll pass that info on to my niece.
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That's all the more reason not to mislead them by supplying specious substitutes for actual information.

    Perhaps. But you'll need to come up with something better defined than "best students" or else it's simply a different circular argument -- they're the best schools because the best students go there, and we know this because the best students go to the best schools. And even with a good definition for which students are the best, highest GPA, SATs, whatever, it also means that "academic quality" is being defined by the decisions of teenagers, which somehow seems less than ideal.

    I'm unsure why you put scare quotes around "tools of program evaluation", but yes, bar pass rates might be a great one. How convenient for law schools if there is the correlation you describe, but that still doesn't mean that it makes sense to use the effect rather than the cause.
  11. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Published college rankings are neither random nor subjective; they are based on actual information. If you look at the full USN&WR rankings, for example, you will find pages and pages of data tables, showing the numerical information on which the rankings were based.

    Now, we may or may not agree that (1) all of this information is relevant, or (2) that it is weighted properly, or (3) that small differences in the inputs or outputs are truly significant. And it's probably true that most people turn straight to the ranking tables without ever bothering to look at the supporting data. But regardless, there is no doubt that actual information is used.

    It is generally understood (by teachers, administrators, and parents) that the "best students" are those with high grades or high test scores or leadership in extracurricular activities. Preferably all three. If you attend a high school graduation ceremony, for example, those are the students that will be honored. You are free to disagree, but in that case I would be interested to hear your alternative definition.

    The quotes reflect my uncertainty of what is meant by "tools of program evaluation". Apparently a standardized post-graduation test, like a bar exam, would qualify. But this is an impractical approach, because such tests only exist in a few professional fields, like law or medicine. There is no equivalent to the bar exam for English majors, math majors, history majors, business majors, etc.

    So I'll repeat my previous questions about your proposed approach: is it practical? Exactly what "tools of program evaluation" would be applied to, say, an undergraduate math program? And are these "tools" equally applicable at Elite Ivy University (where the math grads tend to become quants on Wall Street) and Southwest Podunk State College (where the math grads tend to become high school teachers)?

    Current systems rely on "tools of student evaluation", like grades and test scores. This approach is clearly practical, because grading and testing of students is the norm. The assumption is that programs that enroll high-quality students will tend to produce high-quality graduates.

    You may question this assumption, but I think most people would find it reasonable. For example, I have no problem accepting that that schools with exceptionally high requirements for math/science aptitude, like Caltech or MIT, produce a disproportionate number of top scientists and engineers.
  12. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The USN&WR law school rankings include numerous factors that could be considered "tools of program evaluation", including:

    - student bar pass rate
    - student employment rate at graduation
    - student employment rate 9 months after graduation
    - program assessment by surveys of legal academics
    - program assessment by surveys of judges
    - program assessment by surveys of legal professionals

    Furthermore, the factors above account for most of a given law school's score in the USN&WR rankings. Selectivity factors (like LSAT, GPA, and acceptance rate) account for only 25%.

    Given that the USN&WR law school rankings appear to be based predominantly on "tools of program evaluation", which you apparently endorse, do you still regard these rankings as "specious" ?

    Clearly USN&WR is prepared to use tools of program evaluation, if it is practical to do so. And in the case of law schools, it is, because legal organizations like ABA and NALP collect a lot of data pertaining to professional practice and employment. However, I am not convinced that such information is available, or can be readily obtained, in the case of most other degree programs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2014
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That's great that U.S. News will use good metrics when they're available, but since, as you say, that's not the case for most fields, yes, I still think of their rankings as specious. That's also in part because, at least at the undergraduate level, they lump the entire institution together, which doesn't help students who already have a particular major in mind, and they separate out universities from liberal arts colleges, and national schools from regional one in a way that I'm not sure is helpful. For example, if I want to major in one of the liberal arts, should I prefer Williams (the #1 ranked liberal arts college) to Princeton (the #1 ranked national university)? Or for another example, the University of Virginia outranks Virginia Tech on U.S. News's list of national universities, but if my goal is to learn how to build bridges or design airplanes, should I still prefer UVa?

    Look, if you really think one-size-fits-all rankings are valuable, then use them. Personally, I think which school to attend is best approached as an individual decision, which is why I've long said it would be better to have a large database with all sorts of different types of information about schools, where prospective students could say which specific criteria are important to meet their individual needs, assign an appropriate weight to each, and end up with a list of schools that's tailor made for them. And that way, those students who agree with you that selectivity equates to quality can place as heavy a weight on that as they wish.

    But I think that's about everything I want to say on this. Feel free to have the last word.
  14. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Look, that's a perfectly reasonable attitude -- except for one thing. The USN&WR "College Compass" online service already allows you to do exactly that:

    So you don't want to just look at the rankings, you want a custom fit instead. So you envision a "large database", "where prospective students could say which specific criteria are important to meet their individual needs, assign an appropriate weight to each, and end up with a list of schools that's tailor made for them". Right?

    USN&WR will cheerfully provide it to you (for $29.95).
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2014
  15. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Even for prospective undergraduate students, I think it helps for them to look at the graduate school rankings in various fields of study. It at least gives you an idea of what kind of faculty you'll be working with and how many resources the college/university devotes to that school/department.
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Oh, neat. I didn't know they offer that now. Yes, by description their "My Fit Engine" looks much more valuable than their one-size-fits-all rankings.
  17. mrworkman

    mrworkman New Member

    I received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from a NA school. University of Management and Technology. I have a Master of Science degree in Management and, have not had a problem receiving calls from employers for HR, Adjunct Faculty,project manager, analyst, program management and general management positions. It has been difficult for me to see the merit in the argument of those who speak ill of NA schools. I’ve had plenty of interaction, professional and personal, with people who’ve graduated from RA schools. I’ve been surprised at their lack of post-secondary level acumen. Any education at its core, will manifest itself by what the student puts into it, and how they apply it in the field. Having the degree will get you an interview, but unless one can articulate the concepts of their specialty, and if hired, apply it to the firm to increase bottom line and add value, they will go back to the drawing board RA, or NA degree. This school is recognized by the U.S. Department of education, CHEA( Council for Higher Education Accreditation) and DETC(Distance Education and Training). They also have programs that have (program accreditation) from PMI(Project Management Institute) as well as AAPM(American Academy of Project Managers ). I am still active duty, (Air Force) and just to ensure I have future success, I have attended career fairs and job interviews and, as I stated earlier, haven't hard a problem, getting offers. It has helped me serve on boards, and help me get hired for an Adjunct Faculty position, so I'm experiencing the payback. :D .. Plus the military also, recognizes national accreditation for commissioning programs. If Navy postgraduate doesn't recognize DTEC you should open up a congressional complaint, because the military approves TA for NA schools. what are they saying if they don't consider NA degrees?

Share This Page