Tom Head's HUX Review

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Tom Head, Mar 24, 2001.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Yes, as any faithful reader of Bears' Guide could tell you, Marina Bear (wife of John, mother of Mariah) earned her M.A. through CSUDH-HUX, and went on to earn her Ph.D. in Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

  2. ternahan

    ternahan New Member

    For Tom: I'm in HUX with 9 credits completed. I monitor a HUX599 (Thesis) discussion group in which people post their frustrations with the process. One is that there is only one lady who QA's the thesis formats at the library. I'm curious if you used any special software to help with your writing of the thesis or just conventional word processing stuff. Phil
  3. Nicole-HUX

    Nicole-HUX New Member

    Okay, let me take these one at a time.

    Phillip--Yes your professors expect to hear from you. Circumstances will vary but for example, if you were registered late for a class you might not be on the initial class roster, so make sure the professor knows YOU know you're in his/her section and will turn in your first assignment as close to the deadline as possible. Or maybe you want clarification on an assignment, or feedback about a possible Independent Study or a thesis topic. Perhaps something happens that will require you to request an Incomplete grade: these aren't issued automatically and unless you contact the professor and request one, you might end up having to take the class over.

    JLV--Where did you get the idea that your diploma will take six months to be delivered? I don't have any affiliation with the MSQA program (different department in the division) but I can't imagine they operate under rules that are radically different to the rest of the university. The most frequent misunderstanding I've encounted with students' expectations is not allowing enough time for the different approval processes to take place. For example, a student will turn in a rough draft of the thesis to his/her mentor, then call the HUX office three weeks later demanding to know why they haven't received their diploma. Whoa! First the thesis has to be reviewed and approved by the committee which takes a minimum of one trimester, then it goes to Graduate Studies for review of format and Title V requirements (another trimester), then a plethora of paperwork is reviewed which typically takes from 4-8 weeks after the official graduation date, and THEN the graduation is posted and the diploma sent. Believe me, I wish it could go faster myself, but it rarely does.

    Randy--If I'm remembering correctly, the HUX program was established in 1974 with 12 students from the Los Angeles area and has grown to include students from almost every portion of the globe. I don't have current figures for enrollment, but we average between 100-200 applications per trimester and I typically have about 150 students in the Phase III portion of their work during any given time. (No wonder I'm tired.) (Hmmm, still can't find a "drolly. {g}) Quite a number of our students indicate they have interest in pursuing a Ph.D. after completion of our program but I don't have actual numbers of those who have.

    ternahan--The thesis tutor works out of the Graduate Studies office, not the library. She fields an amazing number of questions and is available to meet with on-campus and distance learning students in person, by phone, by mail, or via email, depending on preference. For formatting purposes for any master's degree at CSUDH, your bible will be the current edition of the Thesis and Project Guide (a campus publication). For HUX, the departmental guide is the M.L.A. guide, currently the 5th edition. I'm not aware of any software that would be of benefit in meeting theses guidelines beyond a reliable word processing program.

  4. mamorse

    mamorse New Member

    Wow! Nicole, this is not meant as a criticism - merely an observation. Speaking as a faculty member of Ohio State University, I can tell you that we are under extreme pressure to deliver a relatively quick turnaround. For example, for a single revision, we're supposed to deliver our comments, suggestions, etc. within two weeks. (Now, of course, there may well be several cycles of revision. Personally, I've never been involved in more than four cycles for a single thesis or dissertation.) For all PhD defenses, the Graduate School requires an outside representative (i.e., someone other than the chosen dissertation committee). In theory, this person is supposed to be a full member of the committee, but his/her primary mission is that the doctoral defense is conducted in accordance with OSU standards. Grad School Reps are supposed to have at least a week to review a thesis or dissertation. Once when I served as a Grad School Rep, I was given a 1,000-page dissertation the evening before the defense! (Needless to say, I "skimmed" through it...) As far as formatting goes, that is accomplished within a day here at OSU. (Granted, it may take a week for the student to get an appointment...) Two trimesters plus for this process would ensure the wrath of students and the administration here at OSU, unless the final product was extremely lacking. You must have either an extremely large number of students and/or a fairly small number of staff members. While Ohio State is slowly moving into the distance learning realm, it is with the assumption that OUR processing time will not vary for traditional or non-traditional degrees. Do you have the same lag time for your traditionally-earned degrees?

  5. Nicole-HUX

    Nicole-HUX New Member

    Our program is structured to accommodate the needs of the part-time, non-residential student who likely has a full-time job and family responsibilities or who relocates frequently, both of which might preclude pursuing a more traditional degree which could be earned more quickly. Admittedly it does not meet the needs of every potential student, which is why this board is valuable, to allow each student to explore available options and choose accordingly.

    By your own admission, you have no experience with administering a distance learning program, nor dealing with students who never come onto campus and must therefore rely on a small number of office personnel to facilitate all of the interactions the student would normally accomplish on their own. As OSU moves into the arena of distance learning, by all means learn from our faults and foibles, figure out a better way to do things, and we in turn will learn from you. But I caution you, it's amazing how things begin to come clear once you start doing it for yourself. Everyone's else career (and distance learning program) is always easier to manage than your own.

    Nicole Ballard
    HUX Phase III Advisor
    Thesis/Graduation requirements

  6. Nicole -

    Thanks so much for posting all this information. Speaking as a HUX student, I am happy to see someone from the university on this board.

    - Phillip M. Perry
  7. Gerstl

    Gerstl New Member

    At the school where I did my doctorate, this was done before the defense. We took a draft tot he grad school to have them approve the formatting, references etc. With a modern word processor even moderate editorial changes would not change the formatting, and thus it was very rare for the draft to pass and the final version to fail......

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