Perceptions of DL Ph.D.s

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jeffwhetzel, Mar 18, 2002.

  1. jeffwhetzel

    jeffwhetzel New Member

    I am employed in the field of student affairs and would like to get my Ph.D. in student personnel adminstration or higher education adminstration but have heard that these degree's are frowned upon. Are DL Ph.D. programs worthy of my time as a new professional in this area? Do people look down upon these degree's? I am worried that I will have a hard time finding employment in the higher educational setting and have wasted a great deal of time and money. Is there anyone out there that has a Ph.D. that was earned through DL and currently employed as an upper level adminstrator at a BM college or university?

    Jeff Whetzel

    BA Indiana Unversity Bloomington
    MA Ball State University
  2. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    Jeff, there are very few respectable exclusively DL Ph.D. programs out there. By respectable I am referring to an accredited B&M university that offers primarily on-campus degrees in addition to some DL programs.

    If you are willing to do some residency (i.e. 30 days/year) then the options open up significantly. There are many British universities that are willing to allow part-time Ph.D. students to read for a degree in this way as long as the minimum residency requirement is met. These programs usually take 5-6 years to complete.

    Any British Ph.D. would serve you well. It would not be an exclusively DL program and would have all the credibility you need. Some Australian schools have similar programs on offer..

    I would not recommend schools like Touro or Walden or other exclusively DL-based "universities". There would be too many questions raised throughout your career.

    Your BA and MA were obtained from good schools. Don't spoil it with a less-than-respectable Ph.D.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2002
  3. Eli

    Eli New Member

    Re: Re: Perceptions of DL Ph.D.s

    As a second opinion, I do recommend Touro's Ph.D. and MBA for any student looking for a respectable DL schools. It is a branch campus of Touro College establish in 1970 (NY), a brick and mortar school with numerous campuses and a good track record.

    The so called "less-than respectable Ph.D." was 50% paid by my multinational (IT industry) and following my MBA I received an immediate remuneration not to mention the actual benefit from the learning process and being able to deal with financial controls and accountants (having a background in Computer Science).

    Touro has two colleges (College of Business Admin.) and (College of Health Sciences). The latter has a campus and residency requirement.

    I do agree that a full time on-campus Ph.D. is the best alternative but who has the luxury to do so? We are working people with families to support. Come to think of it, I do not buy any of the 2 weeks or 4 weeks residency requirement offered by some DL schools. I fail to understand the academic benefit of this very short term residency!

  4. GBrown

    GBrown New Member

    Somehow I knew you'd reply to this one, Eli.

    I think a DL PhD may actually benefit in other ways: it shows that you are able to accomplish something that very few people can AND at the same time hold down a full time job. That should be an advantage on a resume or C.V. not something to be ashamed of.

    I also agree with you about the limited residencies of some DL programs...what do you really get in one or two weeks (or weekend seminar)? Does that little residency really make those programs more "acceptable" than Touro?

  5. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    "Touro College is a Jewish-sponsored independent institution of higher and professional education, founded by Dr. Bernard Lander. The College was established primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American community. About eight thousand students are currently enrolled in the various schools and divisions of Touro."

    The above quote was taken from the Touro College website. It appears that the college is oriented towards the Jewish community. Of course, I'm sure that there are people of all faiths attending Touro College, but it may be something you want to look at before enrolling in Touro International University.
  6. Jim Marion

    Jim Marion member

    DL PhD

    The bottom line is that an RA PhD, is a PhD.
  7. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    Just because a program is RA does not mean that it will be well received in industry and academia. Choose your Ph.D. carefully becauase it is the last degree that usually goes after your name.

    If you have a BA and MA from respectable schools, you don't want to ruin it with a degree from a virtual school.
  8. Jim Marion

    Jim Marion member

    Oh Well....

    I guess I have never yet run across the "stuffiness" that exists among institutions. When you earn an RA PhD, it qualifies you for certain jobs within academia. Yes--you may have limited opportunities for academic work at some top tier schools--but as far as I am concerned--who cares.
  9. simon

    simon New Member

  10. Ken

    Ken member

    Mr. Henley knoweth of what he speaks.

    A Touro, et al degrees are not worthless but, all things equal, there are much better alternatives such as the ones Scott mentioned.

    Incidently, don't be "taken-in" by the "Touro University is associated with Touro College" garbage... your degree is from Touro University International... a virtual university located in California.
  11. aa4nu

    aa4nu Member

    Scott's grasping at straws, again ?

    Scott, the expert ... also known as Ken, Walter, <???????> says:

    "It appears that the college is oriented towards the Jewish
    community. Of course, I'm sure that there are people of all
    faiths attending Touro College, but it may be something you
    want to look at before enrolling in Touro International University."

    Once again our old friend Scott, the mystery person who holds
    NO known degrees, in the absence of fact ... he begins to try to
    create other false statements. And my what a "sham" post he
    makes, with ZERO facts to back up such a bogus statement.

    Touro is NOT oriented towards the Jewish community. There is
    no unspoken or hidden agenda to position one faith above any
    other faith.

    I am just starting my second year with TUI, now in their Ph.D
    program. For my MBA case study work, I used non-profit
    organizations ... also known as CHURCHES, and had not a
    question nor a challenge from TUI staff. In fact, the types of
    conversations were positive and interesting. Try using such
    non-profit organizations at most other schools and see what
    the results are ...

    Let's see know ... Many questions have been asked of
    old "Scott", but how many has he responded to ????

    So he DQ's himself once again it seems. I thought so ...

    One other detail Scott ... It's Touro University International (TUI)

    Interesting to note that as time and educational methods
    change, some (say Ken, Scott, ?) want to dig their heels in
    and shout "NO, NO, it can not be worthy of consideration
    because it's different than how we've done it before ..."

    Change in education is here ... and the pace will only quicken
    in the years to come. Some schools will try to ignore this, others
    will embrace it. Those that survive will find the DL Ph.D programs of
    today becoming part of their basic educational system. Let's see
    what happens over the next 10 - 25 years and swap notes OK ?

    Disclaimer: TUI Ph.D Student ... (and Scott what's your disclaimer?)
  12. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    Very well.

    Scott Henley

    BA, University of Minnesota, 1994
    MASc, University of Waterloo, 1999
    PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge, ???
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Re: Re: Perceptions of DL Ph.D.s

    Even one hour of residency could have "some" academic benefit. To think, however, that a 2-4 week residency alone would render a degree program substandard, IMO, is not realistic. If the objectives of the residency (e.g., f-t-f meetings, interaction with professors/peers, etc.) can be met via e-mail, fax, phone conference, Net, etc., I personally do not believe that short term residencies add such a large dimension to the program. Hypothetically, what would a 30 day residency add to the Ph.D. program in terms of substance/quality, if all other objectives are met? 10%? 25%? Certainly not enough to warrant the program substandard.
  14. simon

    simon New Member

    Touro University International "is a branch campus of Touro College of New York". Where is this quote from? Directly from their webpage!

    In addition, please note that they are accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. What is the significance of this? Well, the Western Association is responsible for accrediting universities in California. However, the fact that Touro International is afffiliated with Touro College, resulted in their receiving accreditation from the same accrediting agency!

    If there is any further doubt re: this issue, contact the Middle States Association. They will corroborate the above statements.
  15. aa4nu

    aa4nu Member

    Thank You Scott !


    I do appreciate the posting of your educational background.

    Thank you,

  16. Eli

    Eli New Member

    Thanks Simon. No one is disputing the regional accreditation of TUI.
    I also would like to add that the phrase "Branch campus of Touro College, New York" is clearly mentioned on the degree itself.

  17. Eli

    Eli New Member

    I have been with TUI for the past 3 years and as a Christian (similar to the majority of enrolled students) I can assure you that not once did I encounter or sense religious influence on us. You will find students from all walks of this world including Arabs and Middle Eastern origin. All academically qualified students are welcome to join TUI.

    Feel free to check TUI's web site and I assure you that you will not find anything related to "Jewish Sponsorship" or related matter.

    Both Admin. and faculty are extremely professional and quite diversified.

  18. Jeffrey Ahrendt

    Jeffrey Ahrendt New Member


    You seem like a perfect candidate for the online doctoral program in Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  19. KevinB

    KevinB New Member

    While employed by a non-profit research organization, I observed prejudice towards DL PhDs on a regular basis. I remember one meeting in which a staff member (a PhD) remarked that we should not hire someone with a “night school PhD.” The candidate was highly qualified with an exceptional background and was ultimately hired.

    Thankfully, the staff member that made the “night school PhD” remark is now retired.
  20. Jeffrey Ahrendt

    Jeffrey Ahrendt New Member

    To complete that thought...

    You sound like an ideal candidate for the online doctoral program in Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. UNL certainly falls within the same range of prestige as your previous degree-granting institutions and I can't imagine that anyone would have a problem recognizing this as anything but a legitimate, RA doctoral degree. An impressive array of courses is available in the program, allowing for a great degree of flexibility in designing a program for your needs. Distance courses are taught by regular on-campus faculty.

    This program is much cheaper than similar offerings at Nova/Walden/Capella: a little over $200/credit for out of state students (this is the correct figure, which represents a special rate for DL courses). Although an on-campus component is strongly recommended, usually during 3 to 5-week summer sessions, it is no longer required.

    While I have no problems with the online doctoral programs offered by the other aforementioned schools, given the choice I would much rather pay less for the same degree from a major state university like UNL. In fact, the PhD/EdD in Higher Education from UNL is IMHO probably the best US-based, low-residency doctoral program being openly offered today.

    Jeffrey Ahrendt

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