Ranking DETC Schools - Doctoral Business or Finance

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by morganplus8, Dec 2, 2009.

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  1. morganplus8

    morganplus8 New Member

    I thought I would try a new approach to the DETC school classification or analysis, that is, to hear from this valuable forum, what their opinion is, regarding the ranking of DETC schools (only). In addition, the prerequisite is that of Doctoral level schools, those offering courses in Business, Finance or some other Doctoral level degree(s).

    This is not a request to re-visit the RA or NA debate, rather it is geared toward DETC schools only. Having said that, schools like UNISA or "legal" schools that might not be supporting the DETC accreditation process any longer, would be fine. I realize that it maybe difficult to clearly define the boundaries of this survey knowing there are so many variations and locations of schools around the globe, but let's give it a try. :)

    The objective is to create a list of DETC approved schools and to make some sense of why they "might" be ranked ahead of one another so that readers can benefit from your knowledge base.

    There is a great deal of information about individual DETC approved schools, but to my knowledge no one has attempted to rank them based upon the criteria of acceptance, value, price, ....... whatever. Can it be done?

    Thanks in advance for those who care to contribute.
     
  2. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Maybe not. It would likely be very difficult to find quantitative criteria that could be used to effectively rank DETC schools.

    Consider the criteria used by USN&WR to rank RA business schools:

    - Peer assessment survey
    - Recruiter assessment survey
    - Mean starting salary and bonus
    - Employment rates for graduates
    - Mean GMAT scores
    - Mean undergraduate GPA
    - Acceptance rate

    It's unlikely that any comparable data exist for DETC schools generally. In fact, it may be categorically impossible to use criteria like mean GMAT scores -- do any DETC schools even require GMAT scores?

    Realistically, there may not be any readily-available, quantitative criteria that could be used to rank one DETC school over another -- except maybe for tuition and fees.

    USN&WR generally doesn't try to individually rank the lowest scoring schools; it just lumps them together in generic "tier 3" and "tier 4" categories. This might be the most defensible approach for DETC schools as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2009
  3. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    Lowest Tier RA School > Highest Tier DETC Only school.

    That was easy and simplistic :D
     
  4. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    And entirely useless and off-topic, since it's not what the OP was looking for. :rolleyes:
     
  5. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    Ahhhh....Its my entirely unbiased opinion of DETC schools. In other words why in the heck would you want to rank schools that are already ranked for you?

    Conveniently, we know that RA is better than NA so you can of course come to the conclusion such as mine that all RA schools are better than NA schools (DETC). No?

    Read his post again it does ask for opinion. I am not going to blow sunshine up some random persons ass.....DETC accrediation may well be good enough for some. But to argue that it is equal to RA is asinine. Hence, why rank it.

    My opinion.

    To quote that great philospher Jules: "If my answers frighten you, then you should cease asking scary questions"
     
  6. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

     
  7. morganplus8

    morganplus8 New Member

    Thanks emmzee,

    Looks like we'll have to work our way through the noise before we can get some contribution to the subject matter. I know for a fact that there are many prospective students out there who would find utility with a DETC degree. Let's not make it any more difficult for them to obtain information on that subject alone.

    Caldog has successfully argued that USN&WR will not be used as an effective guideline or tool for this challenge, let's move on.

    Thanks again!
     
  8. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Just how many schools fit this category?

    I searched the 2009-2010 DETC Directory, and found a grand total of three schools that advertised doctoral-level degrees in business-type subjects:

    - California Intercontinental University
    - Columbia Southern University
    - University of Management and Technology
     
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    Whether or not differences in quality among these (or other DETC-accredited) schools can be discerned, there is no particular reason to do so. The employment market most certainly will not, and that's the purpose of a degree. (Learning is a purpose for studying, but getting a degree is the purpose of doing that learning at a school and having it evaluated.)

    For DETC-accredited schools that lack some other RA or equivalent recognition, there aren't differences in the value of the degrees awarded. One might instead look at differences in costs, delivery methodologies, program content, dissertation requirements, quality of faculty, and who knows what else.

    This is not to imply that quality educations and useful degrees cannot be found at DETC-accredited schools; quite the contrary. (Especially regarding the former.) But the OP's question is, really, moot.

    Finally, I'd like to see cool schools take advantage of DETC's uh, "liberal" accrediting processes and standards to create innovative programs and processes that deliver unique and high-quality programs that might be impossible under the more-draconian RA's. For example, HMU. And here's a fun (IMHO) hypothetical: a doctor of arts based on the learner-centered model once offered by the Union Graduate School. The learner designs it, develops it, delivers it, and earns it, all under the guidance of faculty. Or a doctor of science, say, under the one-on-one tutoring of a mentor (like the old International College once located in California). And who knows what else? Instead, we see cookie-cutter doctoral programs offered by schools that are barely part of the academy, issuing degrees that, while useful in industry, are likely nearly useless in academe. Boring.
     
  10. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    Ahhhhhh.....you hurt me. :cool:
     
  11. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    Hey now, I generally agree that RA > NA.

    But whether someone accepts that or not, it just has no impact on how the DETC schools might be ranked compared to eachother. Ie, if for whatever reason a person is limited to DETC options, then wouldn't it be worthwhile to rank these options?
     
  12. morganplus8

    morganplus8 New Member

    I knew this would prove to be a challenge for the old guard, hopefully something good will come of it all in the days ahead though.

    Rich Douglas states:

    "For DETC-accredited schools that lack some other RA or equivalent recognition, there aren't differences in the value of the degrees awarded. One might instead look at differences in costs, delivery methodologies, program content, dissertation requirements, quality of faculty, and who knows what else."

    Point Taken: Let's focus on those benchmarks if that is where we can differentiate each school's program. I for one felt concerned with your statement regarding the mentioning of the University of Atlanta's faculty, or lack there of, in other posts on this board. That's a defining moment if you ask me.

    "This is not to imply that quality educations and useful degrees cannot be found at DETC-accredited schools; quite the contrary. (Especially regarding the former.) But the OP's question is, really, moot."

    Point Taken: The obvious roll-out from this statement is to mention in detail what you feel might be in fact plausible attributes of certain DETC programs. On a lighter note: I believe you contradict yourself by labeling something as "moot" while at the same time suggesting there are some virtues contained in the DETC accredited programs. My goal is to draw upon your extensive experience to see if there are some DETC accredited schools that merit favourable mention and perhaps ranking within themselves and NOT as a purely "academic" function. In fact drop the academic reference all together. Just a thought.

    03310151 - Nothing.

    I find it difficult to believe that there is justifiably more utility in a NCU, Walden or Phoenix degree, versus a DETC degree. I would also state that if a doctoral DETC student were to be anticipating an academic future, they would be delusional at best. Having said that, there are many business/personal reasons why someone would want a made in the USA DETC degree. A legally recognized degree that fits their area interest at a price they can afford. Which one is the best choice and why?
     
  13. raristud

    raristud Member

    "Having said that, there are many business/personal reasons why someone would want a made in the USA DETC degree. A legally recognized degree that fits their area interest at a price they can afford"

    - DETC is a recognized accreditor in the United States. I would have doubts if a person told me that a degree or school is legally recognized.

    "I find it difficult to believe that there is justifiably more utility in a NCU, Walden or Phoenix degree, versus a DETC degree." - Employers in the United States will generally prefer and recognize to a greater extent a regionally accredited degree. Graduates of online RA programs have to my knowledge served as online adjuncts to a greater extent.

    - I'm not sure about phoenix, but NCU and Walden both have programs that are professionally accredited. Capella also has programs that are professionally accredited. I'm talking about professional accreditation in business and mental health ( CACREP ) at the graduate level. Fielding is another university that hosts a graduate program that is APA accredited.

    - A combination of RA and professional accreditation is in my experience in distance education and as a DETC/RA graduate student the gold standard. Organizations that license and certify counselors, psychologists, engineers, educational practitioners will be more accepting of an RA grad. Since these institutions are regionally accredited, they have more utility based on what I stated above. This is a reality. It is also a reality that DETC is growing in acceptance. For now, RA leads in terms of public and corporate perception of quality and acceptance.

    - Should rigour, content, and quality of instruction be a criteria for DETC ranking? Ranking DETC schools would be an interesting endeavor since DETC schools are primarily online. I believe a different approach is needed since DETC focuses entirely on accrediting schools that focus specifically on distance education.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2009
  14. morganplus8

    morganplus8 New Member

    raristud,

    Thanks for your thoughts on the topic, a couple of questions/comments:

    Are you making observations based upon your knowledge or experience with doctoral level programs at these RA schools, or are you stepping outside the topical issues of this thread to generalize about these schools, i.e. BA, MA, PhD ....?

    And secondly:
    Could you expand on your thoughts below (without necessarily steering off the topic once again which is not a debate NA vs. RA), .... rather which DETC school might be deeper in quality than other DETC schools.

    "- A combination of RA and professional accreditation is in my experience in distance education and as a DETC/RA graduate student the gold standard."

    Please explain this statement if you will, I want to make certain I understand your point, ..... thanks again for your post. If I understand you correctly, a DBA or any other non-professional business degree, might be considered relevant from either accredited school where professional qualifications are not present. ????
     
  15. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    It might be interesting if people named a few DETC schools that they personally like and explained why they like them. But actually ranking them is going to be pretty arbitrary unless somebody can specify some observable and quantifiable variables that others can agree on.

    Restricting the universe of discourse to three programs doubtless reflects the original poster's own interests, but it leaves us with a miniscule universe of discourse. My own interest in DETC isn't limited to doctorates and certainly not to business programs.

    None of these three schools appears to have a strong academic or research reputation. All three are very obscure and seem to base their credibility largely on their DETC accreditation.

    It's hard to choose among them with so little to go on. Ranking them would be an expression of personal taste. I'd be inclined to go with the least expensive one I guess, assuming that I was thinking of enrolling. They all seem to offer essentially the same product. Perhaps one offers a desirable specialization or something. I don't sense that any of them boasts high-powered professors, but studying their faculty lists might give somebody a reason to favor one over the others.
     
  16. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    How about schools like Western Governors University it's DETC accredited or the APU also DETC accredited.
    ITT wile not DETC is NA school and as far as I know they provide good education.

    On many occasions ITT grads are more piratical then some stanford grads. Both sides contribute to the education system.
    Some are more vocationally oriented.

    The nice thing is a person can make the choice to attend the university that matches his needs and abilities.


    Some schools are better then others.
    For some students DETC NA is better choice then RA.

    Maybe they have less debt in student loans or got just happy with their degree.
    As far as overseas one is required to get credential evaluation RA or DETC or something else they all ranked the same after the evaluation. Unless its ABET and party to Washington accord or similar.
    The ministry agency that performs such evaluations usually doesn't state the type of accreditation.

    In other National systems national accreditation is more name recognized as they have national systems.


    DETC accreditation is twice as frequent: DETC does a complete, fresh review every five years, not every 7 or 10 years as most regionals do.
    DETC does an in-depth program by program individual evaluation of curricula, before any students may be enrolled, using qualified professors and teachers primarily from regionally accredited universities. Regionals are not equipped to do individual content reviews of each program a college offers.
    DETC accreditation standards are specific to the distance education environment, and they go into far more depth on the unique aspects of learning at a distance by various modes than any general set of accrediting criteria. Subject matter experts, for example, measure a distance program against more than 100 different points of measurement, ranging from outcomes to reading level to depth of examinations to examination turn around time.
    DETC has far more extensive, specific and comprehensive and prescriptive standards for marketing practice, financial assessment, refund policies, and consumer protection rules than any regional agency.
    DETCs’ national minimum tuition refund policy is a model for others. And DETC has standards that address Internet marketing tactics and affirmative consumer disclosures.
    DETC has one of the most practical, time-tested outcomes assessment procedures for institutions to follow that is felt to be far more prescriptive and specific than the generalized outcomes processes of most regional bodies.
    DETC has specialized in perfecting standards and rules for distance study institutions for over a half century. DETC has conducted over 3,000 onsite accrediting visits to distance education institutions since 1955, making it the clear leader in distance learning accreditation from an experience perspective.
    DETC’s staff has, collectively, over a century of tenure with DETC, giving it one of the richest repositories of corporate memory about distance learning accreditation in the world today.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2009
  17. raristud

    raristud Member

    "Are you making observations based upon your knowledge or experience with doctoral level programs at these RA schools, or are you stepping outside the topical issues of this thread to generalize about these schools, i.e. BA, MA, PhD ....?"

    - Professional and academic experience with DETC and RA programs, employers, research on licensure requirements, academic and professional experience with doctoral level programs offered online/blended.

    "If I understand you correctly, a DBA or any other non-professional business degree, might be considered relevant from either accredited school where professional qualifications are not present."

    - The question about relevancy in distance education, and this could be tied to quality, is to whom and for what purpose. How is the content and design of a doctoral program relevant to the consumer ( student ) and companies that hire graduates of similar programs. How do companies within our region perceive the quality of our programs. Is our program meeting the needs of prospective employers that hire our graduates. How can we enhance our graduate programs ( programmatic accreditation, co-ops, internship opportunities ) so that our students are competitive in the workplace.

    - Is a DETC doctoral program in business meeting the needs of both the consumer and organizations that are most likely to hire these graduates.
    How do organizations perceive a DETC degree in business at the graduate level? These are questions a school could explore in more detail as graduates of detc doctoral programs in business enter the workplace.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2009
  18. morganplus8

    morganplus8 New Member

    BillDayson,

    Thanks for your reply, fill free to open it up to whatever level of education that interests you, I shouldn't have restricted it to doctoral degrees in the first place, I just wanted to narrow the scope a bit to get some dialog in that area.

    I understand how subjective the response can be, after all, this forum isn't always geared to think outside the box and give due consideration to all forms of education. Still, there are some excellent comments from the likes of Lerner, who is making a REAL attempt to deal with the topic in a positive and informative way.

    I'm impressed so far, knowing we would draw the acrimony of those who like to promote "the best or nothing" strategy. Many of us have the "best", we are covered every which way when it comes to the "best", but some of us don't need Tier 1 any more, or can't afford Tier 1, or cannot see any value at all in earning yet another Tier 1 degree. For many reasons, we would like to continue our education in order to stimulate our minds, nothing more.

    Thanks to Raristud for your explanation, much appreciated.
     
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Most of DETC schools that offer Doctorate degrees are just too new. You would need to define some metrics. Some rankings use before and after graduation salaries, number of publications of faculty, quality surveys, etc. The problem is that DETC schools would need a different set of metrics as I they don't have enough full time faculty doing research and most of their students don't really get the degree for a salary increase but for other reasons. I believe that many of the students here look at DETC degrees because of price, completion times and customer service. I would suggest a rank based on these 3 variables.
     
  20. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I think that's both inaccurate and insulting.

    There are apparently only three DETC schools that offer doctoral degrees in business. None of them show very well in terms of the variables by which conventional doctoral programs are often ranked - research leadership and productivity, grants and awards, faculty strength and things like that. Their major selling point seems to be that they are accredited by a US Dept. of Education recognized accreditor and offer DL programs. That's a minimal criterion.

    You might not like my saying that, but it's directly relevant to your original question, since it indicates where these three DETC programs likely fall in the broader doctoral-program pecking order that includes not only DETC, but other accreditors and programs outside the US as well. It suggests how professional peers are apt to perceive these three schools.

    If we decide to consider these three schools in isolation, then there's little to distinguish them. They appear pretty generic. Myself, I'd be inclined to favor the least expensive one, I guess. So that initial ranking would be in terms of price. But I might be willing to pay more for a desirable specialization or for the opportunity to study with particular professors. So there could be another more personal ranking in terms of suitability to my own individual needs.

    In that case, the 'best' school for you will probably be the one that offers a program that directly addresses your needs and interests, at a level that's suitable for you, at a price that you can afford. And if we are talking about doctorates, I'd say that a program should offer some intellectual excitement, involving you alongside your professors in doing something exciting and cutting-edge in your field. Any ranking of that sort will be personal to you.

    You know, my own reasons for studying are almost entirely avocational at this point. I don't care a whole lot about university rankings. In fact, I don't care a whole lot about accreditation, since I don't need any more university credits and have all the degrees that I'm likely to ever need. All I'm really interested in is whether a study opportunity looks credible to me and whether it suits my interests, needs and purposes, making me more knowledgeable and proficient.

    So I'm the last person to say "the best or nothing". But my being interested in DL for reasons of continuing education and my not really needing an international-class doctoral program doesn't really justify my not being realistic if I'm asked to rank low-end doctoral schools.
     

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