Professional Career Development Institute

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by bo79, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. bo79

    bo79 New Member

    I am thinking about taking some of the professional diploma programs at PCDI to make myself more marketable.

    How good is this school?

    How well are the diplomas accepted by employers?

    Whats the quality of the diploma courses like?

  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I cannot answer you regarding acceptance of PCDI's diplomas. I am taking their locksmithing course.

    It is equal to the Foley-Belsaw instruction. I am thoroughly enjoying the course which has been a good bit of review but have learned some new material, especially regarding the newer locks (home and auto).

    I would recommend it. Communication is excellent and your lessons are graded online as soon as you take the exam.

    I am down to my final five lessons.
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I took a couple of courses and thought it was pretty good. They were only supplemental to what I do and don't even list them so I don't know how they would play out in a job search.

    Any vocational/trade school diploma generally does not compete as well in job market when compared with diploma/AA in same subject.It may depend though on subject. It would be a tough sell for DL auto mechanics or carpentry diploma but maybe not for medical transcription.

    Education Direct courses IIRC are RA so they would transfer if needed so that's something to consider.
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Two locksmithing diplomas, eh, Jimmy?
  5. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    After he picked up his first diploma he was all keyed up and tumbled for the first school to latch on to him for a combination.
  6. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Personally I think a diploma would be best served to supplement either real world experience or a degree. A stand alone diploma in of itself would probably not be that marketable.

    What you learn however could be another story.
  7. scubasteveiu

    scubasteveiu New Member

    Sounds pretty cool.

  8. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    You're in Canada, so I don't know if you have what I'm about to describe, but once described it won't matter 'cause you'll understand...

    In the U.S., in most major cities, there are, at minimum, three or four television network-owned and/or -affiliated TV stations (NBC, ABC, and CBS... and sometimes FOX... and a PBS station), plus some stations in the UHF band that may or may not be affiliated with or owned by such as WB or UPN, or which may be independent. And then, in many such cities, down in the VHF band alongside the network owned/affliated stations, there's an independent that's nevertheless a behemoth and a force with which to be reckoned that that town. In Chicago, it's WGN. In Atlanta, it's WTBS. In San Francisco, its KRON.

    Usually it's somewhat cheaper to advertise on stations like WGN or KRON or WTBS, especially when you consider that the daytime audience for those types of stations is usually just as large as the network-owned/affiliated stations in the VHF range. So, therefore, trade schools, minor colleges, and diploma sellers of all stripes tend to advertise on such stations during the daytime... during work hours, when they presume that only the unemployed (and, therefore, those most in need of their services) would likely be watching.

    PCDI is one of those diploma sellers that you typically see advertising its "motorcycle repair" or "medical assistant" diploma progrms (among others) on daytime television in the U.S... maybe in Canada, too, for all I know.

    That said, PCDI is probably the best of those types of advertisers. In addition to the diploma courses you're talking about, PCDI also owns and operates Ashworth College, which is probably the best known and most popular of the low-priced, nationally-accredited colleges out there. PCDI also owns the both DETC- and regionally-accredited (by SACS) James Madison High School, for kids whose parents would rather they get their high school diplomas at home, or adults who never got their high school diplomas and don't want to have a mere GED, or for whatever other reason that one might rather get their high school diploma from Madison rather than in a more traditional way. Madison has two diploma tracks: Its "General Diploma" is a rock solid, general high school diploma that is far cry better than a mere GED; and its "Academic Diploma Track" is easily as good as most any high school "college bound" track in this country.

    In fact, all of PCDI's programs -- be they Ashworth's associates or masters degrees, or PCDI's diploma programs -- are accredited by the Distance Education Training Council (DETC), which is approved by the US Department of Education (USDE) and its Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). And, as I pointed out above, its high school program is also SACS (regionally) accredited.

    So PCDI, though highly commercial in a way that makes educational traditionalists uncomfortable (and perhaps rightly so), is most definitely credible... and accredited.

    All of PCDI's courses are nicely packaged for ease of delivery and consistency across all students who take them. By doing it that way, PCDI makes the task of supporting said students easier because every one of PCDI's support personnel is intimately familiar with precisely what the student is seeing on his/her computer screen (in the case of the online or on CD components), or in print (in the case of the text books and other study materials). Each course -- whether it's a PCDI diploma course, or a James Madison High School course, or an Ashworth College course -- comes with everything needed, be it CDs or tapes, text books, study guides, bookets, pamphlets... whatever. It's completely self-contained and "turnkey." And in order for said courses to be DETC accredited, you are assured that they meet at least the minimum standards that any course accredited by a USDE- and/or CHEA-approved agency must have. As with almost any accredited educational provider, some courses are more rigorous than others, but all offer at least the minimum amount of rigor that one would expected from an accredited provider. In other words, some courses will be easy, but will still challenge, and other courses will kick your butt... just like anywhere else.

    Well, there's the rub, isn't it. A diploma from PCDI (not to be confused with a degree diploma from Ashworth, or a high school diploma from Madison) is far short of a degree -- or even an academic certificate, for that matter. It's more on the level of a certificate or diploma that most any accredited college or university "continuing education" department might offer. That's not a bad thing, by the way... but you just have to keep it in perspective.

    For some lines of work -- particularly the "trades" -- a PCDI diploma might be all the education that anyone would ever need. Such lines of work might include a tax preparer, a locksmith, security guard, a motorcycle mechanic, a landscaper, etc. In such fields, employers are usually well aware of who PCDI (along with all of its competitors that advertise on daytime television) is(are); and, therefore, PCDI's career diplomas are respected and even valued.

    For most people, though, a PCDI career diploma isn't going to be enough, and a degree of some kind is required. But even for those people, a PCDI diploma can be helpful. For example, lets say a guy (or a woman... hey, I'm not trying to be sexist, but for ease of description, I'm going to talk about it being a guy) graduates from law school and gets his JD, but decides he needs to delay taking the bar exam for a year so he can work a little and take some Kaplan bar prep courses. So let's say he goes to work for a medium-sized personal injury law firm and, until he passes the bar, said firm wants him to be the firm's investigator. Investigators for lawyers don't have to have a PI's license in most states, so he wouldn't have to get that; but he may decide he'd like to learn the tricks of the trade before getting out on the street. To do that, he could, quick-like-a-bunny, whip through PCDI's $889 Private Investigator course and would emerge therefrom having actually learned something really valuable for his temporary investigator task in the personal injury lawfirm; and he will have obtained investagatory training that, in my opinion, pretty much every lawyer should have. And, yes, it won't look bad on his resume, either.

    Or, another example: If that same lawyer were, instead, about to be hired as a county deputy district attorney -- or even a public defender -- PCDI's Forensic Science course wouldn't hurt him a bit.

    My point is, PCDI's training is good, and if you take its HVAC course, for example, you'll know and understand HVAC well enough to do it for a living... same with its locksmithing course, or its carpentry course, or its landscaping course, or any of its other courses. But it's no substitute for a degree. A PCDI course sure can be helpful adjunct to a degree, though, in jobs that require just that tiny extra bit of job-specific training that a degree sometimes doesn't provide. When used that way, it looks perfectly fine on a resume... especially if you point out in tiny print beneath where you list it thereon that it's DETC-accredited and that DETC is a USDE/CHEA-approved accreditor, ala what I described in this post in another thread. You should simply not be misled into thinking that it will be viewed by an employer as very much more than a little additional training of the sort that a non-academic certificate from an accredited university's "continuing education" department might provide.
  9. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Two locksmithing diplomas, eh, Jimmy?
  10. JamesK

    JamesK New Member

    How did that happen? Two identical posts, yet 50 minutes apart. The forum software must really be playing up.
  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    I was backing out of degreeinfo one page at a time to go check my email (to reply to the new Union thread) and while backing out somehow managed to re-send the message.
  12. mcdirector

    mcdirector New Member

    Wow! Jimmy. Another locksmithing course and FLET? How do you do it? It's all I can do to work and take one or two courses in the same field.
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Great post Gregg!!;) Have you taken any courses? Took 2 myself, enjoyed them and learned a lot (landscape design,small business). Got really great feedback for my projects.

  14. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    No. But... I don't know if you remember a thread here a while back wherein I asked about ACICS accreditation. That was just a little opinion collecting on my part for a client I was (and am still, though they're sort of just waiting right now to see if they can get some of the funding they're hoping for) consulting with about the possibility (and the operative word, here, is "possibility") of them starting-up a school. One of the things I had suggested to them was that they should investigate OEMing PCDI courswork (specifically Ashworth College coursework). I wasn't saying the should positively do it, but I just thought we should check it out and see if it's even possible, how it would work, what it would cost, and whether it even made any sense just generally. I knew PCDI did such things both from something I read on its web site, and also from a photography course out of New York that is nothing but OEMed PCDI coursework.

    As part of that project, I got a chance to see some PCDI and Ashworth courses (both associates and masters courses, as well as a few of the career diploma courses, and one James Madison course). I thought they were pretty slick, actually... and, indeed, that's the problem for many who are used to a more traditional, maybe less-polished course delivery. To them, PCDI/Ashworth/Madison coursework seems/feels almost like it's blister-packed and belongs hanging on a peg on a retail store wall. It's not blister-packed, of course... but it's close. PCDI/Ashworth/Madison has definitely "productized" its coursework compared with the way other institutions deliver it. I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing... but I'm just sayin'.

    Truth is, there are several PCDI career diploma courses that interest me purely 'cause they interest me, and for no other reason. Weird, I know... but what can I say. I'd no more put any of them on my resume than I'd eat dirt, but they interest me. I admit it. If money (and time) were no object, I'd be taking them for the pure fun of learning some of that stuff. I mean, c'mon... who wouldn't want to learn about Bridal Consulting for godsake!


    Just curious: When you say "small business," do you mean "Small Business Management"?
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi mcdirector,

    As pastor of a church I have study hours allotted everyday from about seven to one. That gives me six hours per day, four days per week, to work on furthering or enhancing my education.

    Usually, however, I only work on FLET and PCDI about four hours per day and sometimes nearly all day on Monday's, which is my day off.

    I am getting somewhat tired and do feel burnt out at times but I want to complete FLET (100 on my first assignment in my new course) and I only have five lessons left at PCDI. I took three online tests last night and received three "A's."

    The PCDI course contains some info I did not learn at Foley-Belsaw and never knew as it is all recent info about changes in the business and in lock manufacturing.
  16. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Can a pastor use his study time for anything or just theology?
  17. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Uh, oh. ;)
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Good question. This will generally depend on the individual church and all the circumstance involved. Is the pastor a full-time or part-time pastor?

    Does the church allow the pastor to earn extra income?

    Does the church understand there are times the pastor uses his/her day off to spend at the hospital, conduct a funeral service, marriage, etc., and thereby knows the pastor will use a "church day" to engage in some personal interests?

    Does the pastor, as in my case, work very hard in building the congregation (nearly four-fold in three and one-half years) and ministering to them, that they trust him/her to allow flexibility of schedules, duties, and interests?

    And on and on and on.

    Now, I once applied to a Congregational church in Wisconsin or Minnesota (can't remember which state). I received the Church Information Profile and withdrew my application.

    The pastor had to punch a clock. Call in every half hour when he/she was out of the office, and a whole list of other nonsensical demands.

    This is a church that either has too much control or has had a pastor or two that was lazy and undisciplined.
  19. Guest

    Guest Guest


    Thanks for reply. And yes I mean small business management. I liked both, customer service was good and both helped me at work. I work with CADD and deal with construction related stuff so I like the vocational related courses.

    I wish they had more courses.Instructor feedback was also some the best I've ever had with detailed comments ,advice etc. on final project.

  20. bo79

    bo79 New Member

    Thanks for all your input everyone.

    Right now I am debating weather I should go for the Diploma in Financial Services at PCDI or the Financial Management Certificate at Cornell University. I am not sure but I think most employers would be a lot more impressed with a certificate from Cornell then a diploma from PCDI. What do you think?

    In Toronto there is a lot of money to be made in real estate, so I have been thinking of getting a real estate license in the past. So I am also thinking of doing the Diploma in Real Estate Appraisal also.

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