upset at navytimes atricle on online degrees

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by originalbigjim, May 31, 2008.

  1. today i read an article in on the navytimes website on a beginners guide to online degrees, this guide was less than helpful and made it seem like getting an undergraduate degree was much harder than it needs to be.
    the part that really got me

    "Indeed, in the American Public University System, 98 percent of whose students are employed — 70 percent of those serve in the military, with more than 1,000 serving in Iraq — it takes an average of 6½ years to complete a bachelor’s degree, McCluskey said.

    Molitor said the average at UMUC is four to six years. At Grantham, where about 80 percent of students are active-duty military or have prior service, students who enter a field of study with few transfer credits and who take 16 to 18 credit hours a semester can take up to seven years to earn a bachelor’s, Shelly said"

    There is no mention of the use of using using CLEP or dantes tests to shorten degree time, to the average service member this makes earning a degree seem impossible while in the service. This upset me because in my opinion the military is the best place to get a degree. Most everything is free, more colleges understand your situation and give you breaks on tuition and fees and you get college credit for everything you do. We have access to many thing others dont. Sorry for the rant but i had to tell someone.
  2. buckwheat3

    buckwheat3 Master of the Obvious

    If not mistaken, McCluskey is high up in the food chain at APU
  3. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    These schools are just cutting their own many sailors on a 3 or 4-year enlistment will just throw up their hands in frustration and walk away after reading that article?
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I was able to complete 54 CLEP / DANTES credits in 6 weeks while in the reserves - 6 years my ass!
  6. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Maybe, and I am guessing, that he is thinking of those taking one course a semester. If you do it that way, it can be longer. They have 8 and 16 week semester on a rolling schedule. Not sure what he is thinking though. They could have, and this happens, misquoted him or just took part of the interview for print.
  7. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Key word here is reserves. Probably could not even do that now-a-days with the current op-tempo. I was in the infantry for four years active duty in the Marine Corps and finished about 18 credits. Transfered to an office job and finally finished the degree in under two. It really depends on what you are doing.

    Article sounds about right. Many people start and stop many times. It is what it is, and I bet the schools are not too upset about it.

    More time = more $
  8. Steve King

    Steve King Member

    Who’s to say that Dr. McCluskey isn’t simply stating a fact? Certainly, many people do not take anywhere near that long to complete their undergraduate degree, but many students take considerably longer to finish. For example, I sped through my MBA program fairly quickly because I was motivated by the degree more than by the knowledge I acquired. I had a completely different view as I progressed through my second master’s, which took me four years to complete. I was in no hurry. I took one class a semester or none at all if I didn’t like what was offered. It was an enjoyable four and a half years!

    It is also possible that APUS is trying to quash the stereotype that online degrees are quick and easy. The subtext to his quotation could be, “This is a ‘real’ university even though classes are available online.”

    Your point about the article failing to mention DANTES and CLEP is exactly right. DANTES was a fantastic, rarely used gem when I was in the Guard.

  9. I realize that he may just be stating a fact but that is not what I am getting at. I am saying that they are giving this article to the military and saying that on average it takes 7 years to earn a 4 year degree, not mentioning all of the exams for credit that shorten the path to less than 4 years. This is sending a negative message to the troops. If I would have read this before I discovered this site, a uninformed sailor, I would have threw my hands in the air and said " forget about it!" I think when writing an article about the guide to online degrees it is crucial that you include clep and dantes exams. Shame on you navytimes, SHAME ON YOU!
  10. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    And furthermore . . .

    The last time I checked, two years ago, Navy Times (and its three sister publications) were running lots and lots of advertisements for fake and worthless schools.

    When I gave the keynote speech as the Dept. of Defense's every-3-years World Education Conference in 2006, I ranted about this situation. Afterwards, a 3-star General came over to me, and said he'd do his best to deal with this.

    Incidentally, the average time for a full-time on-campus "4 year degree" is just about six years now; the article might have mentioned that as well.
  11. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I have to agree. That article just seems like a downer. Shouldn't the goal be to encourage, rather than discourage? I am with you, they should be discussing the positive aspects behind online degrees, plus the options like CLEP, DANTES, etc.

  12. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    A mixed bag

    I have mixed feelings about the article - one the one hand, you don't want to create a false impression, especially with the high optempo today - if the average time to degree is 6 years, then it is what it is.

    On the other hand, I see Big Jim's point, CLEP and DANTES can significantly cut that time down, and that point wasn't mentioned.

    Perhaps Big Jim, as a former sailor, write an letter to the editor of the Navy Times clarifying these points.

  13. truckie270

    truckie270 New Member

    I agree, but if the numbers say 6.5 years, then that is what it is. You do not want to discourage, but you do not to raise false expectations either.
    If getting a BA was easy, then everyone would have one.
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Easy and fast can be mutually exclusive. I finished my Master's degree in one year by taking three courses per semester and two during the connecting summer; fast to be sure, but it sure as hell wasn't easy.
  15. truckie270

    truckie270 New Member

    Same here. I actually think getting my MPA was easier than my BA. In my experience there are less hoops to jump through at the graduate level - just core content.
  16. Great idea! i will be sending a letter to the editor, by the way I am a current sailor.
  17. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member


    I served alongside Navy Personnel while I was in Iraq April 2004 - 2005 (the Seals and Seebees). I have great respect and admiration for the Navy.

  18. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    If a student is enrolled in a four-year degree program and is studying part-time, then it's typically going to take longer than four years to complete. That's true whether the program is B&M or DL, and it's true both in the military and in civilian life. So I don't object to what the article said. It's just a fact of academic life.

    I don't think that most unversities see challenge exams the same way that Degreeinfo does. Universities assume that students need to learn and that they will need to teach. They don't anticipate that students will already be familiar with all of the material and just desire certification. Testing-out is typically seen as an exceptional matter, something that a student is unlikely to attempt more than once or twice in a program.
  19. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    True, but the "four-year degree program" assumes a bunch of restrictive, preconceived ideas such as only studying during certain portions of the year, only taking a certain amount of courses at a time, fufilling every credit requirement with traditional semester courses, etc.

    Once again I agree, but the military (through their propaganda.....I mean their newspapers) should be, IMO, enlightening their service members to the huge advantages of exam-based credit instead of basically discouraging them with predictions of 6 and 7-year degree programs.
  20. GeneralSnus

    GeneralSnus Member

    To be fair, Navy Times (and the other x Times publications) are Gannett publications, not DoD.

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