Thanks To John Bear

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by MaceWindu, Nov 10, 2022.

  1. MaceWindu

    MaceWindu Active Member

    It was one of his books, thinking two of his books, that helped me realized that I still could get my degree. The books inspired me to go back to school and yes, receive a Bachelors degree.

    Although I did not go the nontraditional route, those books did open up a new world to me. I thank him for that. I’m so old I think I read the first edition that has Bear as the sole author.

    Anyone else encountered his book(s).

    Time for me to revisit the -
    Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees Nontraditionally
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Lots of us owe gratitude to Dr. Bear. And some of us - for a very long time. I first encountered some of the books by John (as he insisted I call him, long ago) in the local Public Library back in the 70s. I'd seen the ads from his "10-Speed Press" in the backs of magazines and I was curious. That was my first dip into the Universe of non-traditional education. It was a very interesting place indeed, back then, and still is.

    When I first heard of John by name, and heard of the 'press' I had a fleeting vision of a Native American (he isn't) riding a 10-speed bike, through the California desert, looking into new schools that sprang up and flourished like huge plants after a long-awaited rain. The reality is, of course a lot different. He is a man of wide cultural interests and holds three degrees from well-known Universities. He also knows more about the good and bad sides of the non-traditional and evolving education world, than anyone else.

    John Bear's work has inspired many to access higher education. Many careers have been built on that, and lives improved in many ways. That's an astounding thing. It doesn't get any better than that.

    Thank you, John!
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2022
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I think every member here owes John a huge debt of gratitude.

    I completed my Bachelor’s degree, not truly by distance due to an employment education incentive that banned such things at the time, but very non-traditionally (for the time) with heavy use of CLEP, DANTES, and portfolio credit. He literally saved me years and thousands of dollars.

    He hasn’t checked in here for awhile, I hope he’s doing well.
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Fortunately, Rich said not too long ago that they're in touch and he's fine.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Error Correction.

    I referred to "his" (John Bear's) Ten-Speed Press in my post above. Dr. Rich Douglas has informed me that although John's (and Marina's) books were published by Ten-Speed Press for some years, John did not own the firm. Rich is correct. Ten-Speed Press was founded by Phil Wood in 1971 and was sold to Random House in 2009. "His" (John's) publisher, for some years, but not "his" firm.

    My apologies, first to John, second to Rich and third to everyone else. I had the mistaken impression because with the ads, you had to send to Ten Speed Press to get your Bear's Guide or other book. I wrongly assumed, back then, that John owned the firm.

    The moral (if we need one): Never Assume.

    Dustin and MaceWindu like this.
  6. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Ah yes, I read a few of his books back in the late 90's when I came across them at the library! I was reading up on college and looked up options in the catalog, a few of his books were available and some were reference only. I skimmed through a couple just to see what it was all about, for the reference books, the ones I could borrow I took my time with them to review. Very good info, got me started on my path before I hit the BAin4weeks and also this board...
    MaceWindu, Charles Fout and RoscoeB like this.
  7. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    I stumbled onto his writings back in the late '70's and began to experiment with correspondence courses from Ohio University then. I've always preferred a more self-paced approach to learning and would get restless sitting in a classroom. I am not unlike a lot of other posters here. I work and study in fits and bursts. More so when I was younger, sometimes studying for 8-10 hours straight, when I could. The regimented three classes per week, 5 classes per quarter (or semester---I jumped around a bit), wore me down running from class to class, sitting in intro classes of 300+, fighting for a parking place, standing in line waiting to enroll in the upcoming quarter (or semester), etc. And I realized I was wasting a lot of time commuting to school, driving from a small town to the city. On and on.

    So John, if you're reading this, I wrote you many years ago after purchasing one of your earlier books. You responded and gave me the best advice you could give, at the time. And, as I was wont to do in my youth, did not listen. But even in spite of myself, I eventually came around and found my groove with distance education. Without your books I don't know how far I would have gone academically. For sure, I had had it with traditional education.

    So thank you Dr. Bear. May you live long and prosper.
  8. Charles Fout

    Charles Fout Active Member

    I do not have the words to express my delight the first time I got a mention in Dr. Bear's Christmas poetry. <3
    MaceWindu likes this.
  9. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I'd be delighted if you had a copy and posted it!
  10. Suss

    Suss Member

    Back in the 1990s I was contemplating grad school and stumbled across John Bear's books. It was really enlightening for me to learn about degree mills and regional accreditation. I had no idea about these things, and I was grateful to have avoided getting caught up in an unaccredited college or degree mill vortex.

    I wrote to him to thank him and we carried on a conversation. When I told him I was a writer, he told me that his first published book was a cookbook! He said general/trade publishers really liked cookbooks, and they are a great way to get past the heavily guarded gates of the publishing industry. His cookbook (name forgotten) got him started on the path toward changing higher education as we knew it.
    sideman, MaceWindu and Charles Fout like this.
  11. Charles Fout

    Charles Fout Active Member


    I'm praying this brings you some joy. You are among the "Bills " geting a shout out.
    RoscoeB likes this.
  12. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    That brought me many chuckles, thank you!

    John is really an amazing fellow as are most of the good folks on this forum! I was honored to share a lunch with John, many years back now. I guess we must be getting old. :D
    Suss likes this.
  13. Charles Fout

    Charles Fout Active Member

    And thank you for the challenge. There may even be an earlier post or two where we get a Holliday mention. It took some time to find this one. The search was fascinating. I enjoyed reading so many snippets of my conversations with our colleagues over these past many years. John certainly is the hub for us coming together here. <3
  14. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    John Bear offered his expertise to help my friend hold onto her job in a Canadian school with Ashworth degree. Drafted a letter to submit as part of a lawsuit. He's a true hero in my book.
    MaceWindu, SteveFoerster and sideman like this.
  15. newsongs

    newsongs Active Member

    I also was blessed to run across John's guides. I choose a school based on his recommendation. It went on to become DEAC before I graduated. So thankful!
    MaceWindu, sideman and Michael Burgos like this.
  16. msganti

    msganti Active Member

    Bear (and his guide) is the reason I am in this forum. I bought his guide (I think in 86 or 87), and I still remember the hassles I had to go through to send $40 ($20 book cost and $20 for shipping to India) through a bank. Indian banking rules on sending forex were very tough at that time.
    His guide gave me the complete knowledge of US education system (both traditional and non-traditional). I am using that knowledge (and much more I am gaining from this forum everyday) to guide my college-bound son to knock down as many credits as possible before he can enter the campus.
    Thanks again John - you've touched my life.
    Rachel83az, MaceWindu and sideman like this.
  17. bceagles

    bceagles Member

    John's book, BA in 4 weeks, degree forum, degree info, instacert, my local library (DSST Test Guide), and the testing center at my local community College, are the reasons I no longer have to dance around not having an undergrad degree.

    I combed thru John's guide, I think the site ba in 4 weeks led me to order the book online.

    Life changing! Much appreciation to John's work.
    JoshD likes this.
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I first came across John’s book (the 6th edition) in 1980 at the Barnes and Noble in Boston. I was serving in the Air Force as an education specialist, helping people find (often nontraditional) means to earning degrees, and was drawn immediately to the title. I had also finished my three Regents degrees and was considering what to do with my future.

    Later in that future I was putting together a committee for my PhD at Union. Back then, the learner was the chair of his/her committee and had to assemble a team of two “core” (inside Union) faculty members, two adjuncts (from outside Union to serve as subject matter experts) and two peers (current learners or graduates of the program). Anyway, I sheepishly wrote John a fan-boy letter asking if he knew anyone who would serve on my committee. (Because, obviously, he was too busy, right?) He said he'd be happy to do it and also suggested another person who did join the committee. This began a long and joyous friendship that has lasted for nearly 40 years now.

    I had to leave my Union program because of family and military issues. Several years later, John and I were noodling through ideas on how I could complete my PhD. We considered a thesis-only program like the one at De Montfort University (ironically, in Leicester, UK), but not a lot was known about this option at the time. He asked if I would mind if he wrote a letter to Union’s president to see what they might do. Incredibly, Union reached out to me, waived the time-in-program requirement, arranged for financial aid, and re-admitted me. I re-formed my committee (with a couple of changes) and graduated a year later. Wow.

    John and I have been guests in each other’s homes many times and I’ve always appreciated his friendship and support. I’ve helped him on a few things he did as well, which was always fun. I’ve always deeply appreciated the boost his letter gave me with Union, as well has his counsel over these decades. Our most recent project was interrupted by Covid and my own professional priorities, but I hope to begin working on it soon. In the meantime, I just want to tell everyone here the depths of my gratitude in knowing and working with John.

Share This Page