Pace of online doctoral degree offerings...

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by thomas_jefferson, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I have a doctorate degree earned by using DL and this could be an issue with some schools. I applied to few positions in the golf and one school questioned me about this, I explained that the degree was earned by using DL and I was told that the school has the policy of not hiring people with DL degrees. Some other schools were interested but they stopped showing interest when I mentioned that the degree was earned by using DL.

    I'm currently working in a non tenure track teaching position here in Canada that required a doctorate, when I explained to the hiring committee that the degree was earned by DL the chair was not so happy and sent my degree to the University's graduate school for a report of authenticity. They couldn't really refuse me because the degree was DL because I was going to take care of DL courses at the University so it would look kind of contradictory that they would turn someone down because a DL degree when the job required DL teaching experience but I noticed the bias is there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2010
  2. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    You have done very well, better than most would do. You must have impressed them with your talent and experience. I would expect that, in the future, the doors will open up for those with DL degrees, but they are not wide open yet.
  3. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I believe the mode of delivery will not make a difference in the future but the quality of institution will still be important. I realize that most people that started doctorate programs with non AACSB accredited schools or online for profits made their decision based on the very few options available but with so many good options available for doctoral education nowadays makes no sense to go for a poor option.
    My take is that in the future the smaller online schools willl dissapear and the larger ones will remain but they will need to reduce their tuition fees to remain competitive. Some schools like Aspen will remain as they are positioned as decent and low cost online education.
  4. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I agree. Online degrees are here to stay, but some of the schools will have to change their practices.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I believe that they added a requirements a while back that even those students mostly doing things online had to spend at least one full semester on campus in Lincoln.

  6. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    My point is that it is fraud to take money for product or service that you don't intend to deliver. In fact, that is almost the definition of fraud. Obviously, all doctoral programs must screen applicants carefully and disclose up front (with informed consent) that at least 75% of them are going to be deprived of their time and money. What is needed is legislation to require schools to publish their doctoral graduation rates based on enrollment, so students can give consent knowing the probability they will wind up with nothing. Without informed consent, it seems like fraud. Make sense?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2010
  7. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    DW, which schools are engaging in the practice? I used to think you were crazy with these accusations, but with all of the unethical practices being revealed at some schools, I'm beginning to have some doubts myself.
  8. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Observations, Michael, not accusations...
  9. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Online for profits are there to make money. It might be unethical to enroll a student with low academic abilities but not a fraud.

    The problem is that holding a master's does not longer reflect academic ability, I have taught some of these online master's courses at for profits and these programs tend to avoid any challenging research project or exams and tend to focus on essay writting that then is marked leniently by a poorly paid adjunct that relies on good evaluations to continue with employment. Master graduates from these programs might feel that have the academic strength to do a PhD because they finished a Masters degree with a good GPA but when it is time to come up with a dissertation that requires a more solid background they find out that it is just too difficult.

    If we follow your logic of fraud, we could also say that they are committing fraud by handing a master's degree for substandard academic work. There is a reason for the GMAT or GRE, this is a way to verify that the prospect PhD is mature enough for work at this level, it might not be perfect but it filters a lot of people that will never be able to finish.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2010
  10. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I'm a lot more comfortable attending a school that required an entrance exam, in this case the MAT, because it makes me think that they at least have entrance standards. You guys have taught me to be nervous about attending a school thats main requirement for entrance is that you have a credit card.
  11. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    For the book, most European and Australian schools do not require GMAT or similar exam for graduate admission but most require research proposals and graduation from strong schools.

    The opens admission policy at the doctoral level is expected when the school's primary income is from doctoral students. It is unethical but also I don't see other way how these schools could survive if the would start asking for high admission standards.
  12. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    That is just not fair, there is another requirement portion- a credit card with a high limt
  13. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Admitting students with low abilities for all degrees is not the issue; the issue is enrolling doctoral students with no intention and no capability to support them. Accepting money to perform a service with no intention to perform the service is fraud. And it is all being done over the Internet with a complete electronic record of the activities... You get the picture. It looks like an open and shut case for fraud.
  14. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    How do you measure this - " intention and no capability to support them."? Again, measure this - "Accepting money to perform a service with no intention to perform the service is fraud."

    Sounds like another episode of Dave's X-Files...the truth is out there.

    Why don't you put your money were your mouth is and start a class action lawsuit? You can provide some inside information on TUI since you teach this an admission of guilt? How were you treated when you got your PhD from TUI? Were you wronged?
  15. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    I've already answered this question at least a few times... So let's hear what you think. How would you measure the constructs?
  16. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I know you have answered it...I was just a little worked up yesterday. Sorry if I was over the line or out of line - seriously.
  17. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    This topic has quite a bit of interest to me, since some colleagues and I recently presented on several of the issues raised here (number of online doctoral degrees, the DBA versus the PhD in business) at an accreditor’s conference and am working on similar research on the EdD versus PhD. Here are a few of our findings thus far:

    -- At the present time, it does not appear that DL doctorates from for-profit universities are making huge inroads, let alone saturating the market, since they constitute no more than 3% of the total doctoral degrees awarded in the past few years. The vast majority of these degrees came from four institutions: Capella, Phoenix, Walden and Northcentral, with at least half of them coming from Capella.

    --The area where this may become an exception is business. Most brick & mortar business doctorate programs are small and award less than 40 degrees annually. The DL for-profits are appealing to the large population of middle managers in businesses who do not want to quit their jobs to pursue full-time on-ground study.

    --DBA programs are, by and large, identical to PhD programs in business. The six regional accrediting agencies and the three specialized business accrediting bodies (AACSB, IACBE and ACBSP) do not differentiate in their literature between the DBA and PhD—holders of both degrees are considered “doctorally qualified.” The difference between the DBA and PhD is largely one of perception. Because so many consider the DAB to be a “PhD lite” (even though there is no data to support that assumption), many institutions who wish to offer doctoral level business degrees will propose a DBA or DM (Doctor of Management), because they believe (rightly so) that it will be easier to get approval from their states.

    --So far, with few exceptions, the EdD and PhD in education also seem identical.

    --Each year, a few new doctoral programs, delivered primarily via DL, are being offered by for-profit and non-profit universities. University of Florida is offering a new EdD in instructional technology, Keiser University now offers a PhD in educational leadership, Sullivan University will soon be offering a PhD in management and University of Northern Iowa is in the process of creating a new DL doctoral program in education. I believe that this trend will continue.
  18. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Hello Dave,

    You have made this case before, but I do not recall you giving examples of schools that practice this fraud (and I do agree that this would be fraud). Which schools enroll students without the capacity to support them?

    I left my first doctoral program (Arizona State U.) after nearly completing my course work, due to a job transfer to another state. I completed my degree a few years later at La Sierra University in California. In both programs, a number of my fellow students did not finish their degrees. This had nothing to do with the university's capacity to provide courses and dissertation committee members for them. Like me, life usually got in the way. This is probably true for the vast majority of the 50% of doctoral students who do not finish.

    In my university's prospectus to SACS for a new, primarily online, PhD program (of which I was one of the authors), the entire purpose for the document was to demonstrate precisely how we possessed the infrastructure, academically and research qualified faculty, dissertation advisers, curriculum, library resources and student services to support our target number of doctoral students. We have to jump through similar hoops for the state department of higher education and our specialized accrediting bodies. We will have site visits from each of these agencies, who will verify our capacity and ability.

    We have to report our student enrollment, retention and attrition rates on a regular basis (we track them weekly). We also have maximum enrollment caps enrollment in our online courses. Perhaps other institutions do not function as we do, but I do not see how we could enroll students "with no intention or capacity to serve them." If we tried that, we would be shut down.
  19. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry to butt in where my expertise is, well, none. However...
    Since a doctorate usually requires several years of commitment, there is plenty of time for life to get in the way.
  20. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    You are so right!

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