Orion College (the former LaSalle) Closes

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by David Boyd, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. David Boyd

    David Boyd New Member

    According to The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), "After waging a five-year battle against slumping enrollment and public skepticism, Orion College, formerly LaSalle University, has thrown in the towel.

    The Mandeville correspondence school has ceased enrolling new students and plans to close by summer, school officials said."
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I can't say that I'm surprised by the news, I think the writing was on the wall when they failed to get DETC accreditation.

    It will be interesting to see who ends up with the Orion/LaSalle web address http://www.distance.edu if they give it up when they close.

  3. Gary Bonus

    Gary Bonus New Member


    The article in its entirety is very interesting. What's with this WIC organization that's mentioned?

  4. mcqueary

    mcqueary New Member

    Ahhh, and nary a dry eye in the house! ;-) It's as if all is right with the world again.


  5. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Well, now. Of the eight "schools" that have sued me, over the years, with the demise of LaSalle/Orion, now only one is left in business.
  6. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    There are still stories to be told here. Kirk's "World Christian Church" had millions of dollars in assets, including ownership of the five buildings in Mandeville. I was told they were leasing those buildings to Orion, with little or no payment being made.

    I hope and trust it will come out, who is behind W.I.C., and whether Kirk (who may well be running another school in Louisiana now) and/or his former colleagues will somehow end up with these millions in assets.
  7. i post this knowing that i will be hammerred by the "education gurus" who post regularly on this board. i hope to only make one point.

    i am an educated person - alebit with only a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college. i have enjoyed success in my particular field of endevour and i have no complaints about my job or what i do.

    i chose to live an work in a very, very rural area of the united states. places like this have their advantages, but the drawbacks include very limited choices as far as education.

    i wanted to pursue an online masters - mostly for my own development and enrichment, but it would be wrong for me to say i was not hoping to advance my career (i work with people who do not have bachleor's degrees). i did my research, compared prices, and made my decison.

    i chose orion. mostly based on price. i was looking for a DETC accredited school, but the fact that they were pursuing accredtation helped me make my decision. i paid my money and i took my chance.

    i cannot say that i was totally disappointed. i have always done well when left to my own devices, and being able to study at my own pace worked for me. being 100 miles (or more) from anywhere with more than 5000 people made a non-resident program appealing, and i believe that the principles that i gained from my enrollment with orion helped me do my particular job better and with more confidence.

    i have audited this board for more than a year, and the main thing i cannot accept is the overwhelming negativity for alternative forms of education. regional accreditation or whatever - isn't the goal to enrich? isn't the world a better place with more knowledge and culture than without it? can't it be possible that this can be accomplished in different ways and through different venues?

    there are many positive things to be gained through distance education, but to read the posts of some of the more visible members one would think that is not possible. they are wrong - there is strength in such an education.

    i intend for this to be my only post. i do not intend to offier myself up as a pinata for many of the members of this forum. all i ask is that anyone who reads this thinks twice before falling into the pattern of thinking that only traditional education matters and that there is no room for anything else. there is, i can testify to it, and if anyone chooses to further themselves, that betterment is a good thing even if it below the standards of the education snobs who haunt this place.

    i am sad to see the demise of orion. it was good for me for as long as i was part of it.
  8. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Mr. Issoglio.

    It saddens me that you could read this forum for a year, and conclude that there is overwhelming negativity for alternative forms of education. But that's what makes cockroach races, I guess.*

    * Am I going through a time of obfuscation? Perhaps I should start explaining things before people ask. I am referring to that splendid cockroach "archy" of "archy and mehitabel."
  9. mr. bear:

    yours is one of the few opinions i trust here, even though you can be rather "militant" at times. i do believe, however, that you have nothing but the best intentions in mind.

    your "archy and mehitabel" reference - were you pointing out my lack of use of the shift key? i am familiar with the work (Donald Robert Perry Marquis,1878 - 1937). is there more there than that, or do you think i am writing about rats and other habitabts of my proverbial garage? i sincerely hope that is not the case as i would have to think your humanity has sunk to a new low.

    read some of your own posts, mr. bear, as well as those of others. unless you live in a box., you should be able to concede my point.

    i would only be so lucky as to be the reincarnated spirit of a poet. perhaps i could present my thoughts a little more concisely.
  10. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    LaSalle (Orion) was proven to be an illegal diploma mill in a court of law. Diploma mills are not generally considered to be an alternative form of education. The purpose of diploma mills is to enrich the owners not to enrich victims.
  11. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    I have to agree with John.

    It doesn't make much sense that someone who lurked at degreeinfo for a year (well, almost... we haven't been online that long...) could assume that the regulars here are "negative towards alternative forms of education".

    Negative towards deceptive programs, yes.

    Negative towards out-and-out frauds, definitely.

    But when a truly innovative program appears, you generally find a lot of folks here talking about it and interested in the possibilities.

    I find it somewhat difficult to imagine that anyone could choose Orion with all the baggage they carry, and *particularly* after it was reported here that DETC essentially said "Don't even *bother* reapplying. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than achieving accreditation with us".

    But then, we hear of people who are burned with a Columbia State degree... and then enroll at Monticello... and then seriously consider Columbus or Bienville... so I guess some folks never develop the ability to avoid bad programs, even when the signs are obvious.

    In any case, I wish you luck. Next time, for goodness sake, please consider, at the *very* least, a DETC-accredited program. But if you're going to spend your time and money, you might as well go all the way and get an RA degree.
  12. EllisZ

    EllisZ New Member

    And I'd have to agree with Chip. <GRIN>

    When MIGS was new there were many of us that felt that it qualified as an "innovative new program". I personally thought that Steve L. was very harsh on them. As it turns out Steve was right and those of us who liked MIGS was wrong. (Oh well).

    That said: I'm more liberal than most here: For example I think CCU is fine for SOME terminal degrees. (Depending on your goals). But: Even with my off-the-wall views you'd never convince me that Orion was a good idea. If for no other reason: The baggage that the school has would bring the degree into question.

    But hey, it's your education and your reputation. Perhaps it will work out for you. Good luck.
  13. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Several points, as included above, are confusing to me.

    You say you needed a distance education solution. Then you muddy the water by throwing in the term "alternative" education. They are not the same. There are hundreds of distance educations options that would have served your geographic predicament well. The selection of Orion was not made because it was among the few distance options available. It was chosen, as you note, because of cost.

    I see that you are chastising this board for not being accepting of "alternative" education opportunities. This board is very much pro-distance education opportunities, though it certainly does have a bent towards accredited programs. You needed a distance education solution. Since you indicate that your selection was based on cost, and that you realized you were taking a gamble in making your selection, I can only deduce that if you had a DETC or an RA distance alternative that matched the Orion cost, you would have chosen not to take the "gamble", and would thus have not chosen Orion.

    You did not make your choice because you were sold on the merits of Orion's unique alternative education paradigm. I think there is some measure of unfairness is your position, given that you made your choice, by your own admission, based on "cost" and acknowledging there was a "gamble" involved. This seems little about alternative education and the acceptance, or lack thereof by the members of this board.

    If you succeeded in increasing your knowledge through your studies with Orion, I commend you for it.
  14. one pinata at your service.
  15. EllisZ

    EllisZ New Member

    Heh heh ... at least you take it in good stride.

    Seriously ... hang out an interact a while. We are a pretty fun group of guys. (Fun Guys, not to be confused with fungi ... that's a whole different thing.)
  16. ellisz -

    thanks for the note. i do have a decent sense of humor (and irony) and an ever-increasing tolerance for those who cannot be open to reason. i have always belived that the more education a person had, the more open to ideas they were. guess not.

    i don't think there is a lot of interaction on this board. it's more like the establishment versus the world. the point i was trying to make was that there is room for more than one opinion. according to most of the posters on this thread, there is not.

    baggage is apparent in any organization. dealing with that baggage is what makes character. whether people believe the DETC is worth a damn or not, you have to give it to orion for trying. they made a good effort to shake the lasalle thing. however, there does not seem to be an abundance of room on this board for forgiveness and redemption.

    take a whack, y'all. maybe i'll dump some candy...

    --marcus issoglio
  17. EllisZ

    EllisZ New Member

    There is room for more than one opinion. Only speaking for myself I usually speak of what I think will work vs. what will give someone a harder time in life. It's kind of like shopping ... I'd like the best quality for my dollar.

    That said: Hang around. Offer a counterpoint to what I (and others) say. If you have good experiences with your Orion credentials then share them.

    Sure ... you'll take some lumps ... just don't spill your candy. <GRIN> We've all taken them.

    The fact that you are still here shows at least some interest.

    Take care,
  18. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Hmmm... I guess I find Marcus's argument pretty hollow. He is disappointed that more regulars don't support unaccredited, unapproved "alternative" avenues of earning degrees. If the goal is an education without a usable degree it has been pointed out several times that one can obtain that through most major libraries with probably less than $15.00 in overdue finds as one's only cost. If the goal is education WITH a usable degree why wouldn't everyone be cautious in making a choice that they can live with for the rest of their life?

    With the cost between RA and unaccredited degrees so close why not go with the safe bet? We are very lucky to have an abundance of low-cost RA and GAAP choices to choose from. Is it any wonder that is what we would choose for ourselves and recommend to others?

    With that said I hope Marcus might come to appreciate the wisdom in choosing accredited degree choices over questionable ones. Good luck in your journey.

    Best Regards,
    Dave Hayden
  19. Howard

    Howard New Member

    Maybe we should reduce this discussion to a couple of base points:

    1) there is education - you can get just living or hanging out at a library, or here on this web site for that matter.

    2) there are degrees - something of value that indicates a process of learning has been accomplished and the diploma is indicative of that. Something of value - accepted at other academic institutions and in the business and professional environment.

    as best I can tell LaSalle/Orion offerred neither. You could buy/earn(hehe) a certificate that did not provide education and it certainly was not a degree. Wasn't accepted in business or academia; therefore, one must question why someone would pay that kind of money for it.

    It is especially interesting that someone who believes he received something of value would question whether or not the people in this forum have open minds.

    Howard Rodgers
  20. i'm not sure (mainly since the consensus is that i am (1) an idiot and (2) devoid of anything near an education) but i believe i am being ganged up upon by education snobs.

    with all due respect, you are judging from the "outside" - i was there, i gained things, and it was not terrible. reading the dust jacket of a book does not always do the work justice; movie reviews are not always accurate; the halls of academia cannont judge the quality (or lack thereof) another school without objective findings.

    i concede that as of late the fees for non-DETC accreditation versus DETC accredited schools is getting closer and more comparable. knowing what i know now, i would go the DETC route. considering all that's been debated here (marcus is an idiot versus marcus is not an idiot) let me try to reduce the fray to what i consider to be the essential points:

    1. at least a portion of an education (and a degree) is what you make of it. having orion knocking on the door of DETC accreditation was a good thing (i did get a letter/survey from the DETC that led me to believe accreditation was forthcoming). i believe in redemption and repentance and orion was making good on a crappy past. it's too bad there is not enough room in the hearts (and minds) of others to grasp this. the world would be a better place.

    2. the most unappetizing thing about this board is the condescending nature of many of the posters. contrary to popular belief, i am not an idiot. i made my choice, and i stand by that. it is counterproductive to get stuck in a "you said, i said" argument when nothing changes.

    3. if any of your parents paid for charm school, i would check for accreditation, then ask for your money back!

    (ok, number 3 was a joke. i couldn't resist. just the harmless ramblings of an idle mind. "i was born to speak all mirth and no matter.")

    --marcus issoglio

Share This Page