USC students 'angry' about new online MSW

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mrs.cargojon, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. mrs.cargojon

    mrs.cargojon New Member

    In my far-too-early searching of potential grad schools, I came upon this:


    Apparently, there is a constituency of students who believe that USC should not offer an online MSW and that doing so 'devalues' the degree. Some of the comments are downright horrid.

    A cursory investigation of the program revealed (to me at least) a highly rigorous curriculum, with the same admissions requirements as traditional USC students. Although some may argue that schools like USC are doing this simply for the cash, one of the stated purposes of offering an online MSW is to reach out to underserved populations, particularly in rurals areas, who would otherwise not have access to a degree such as an MSW. This goal seems in line with what social workers are called to do, which is advocate for the underserved and underrepresented.

    Some of the comments contained in the link positively irk me. The elitist attitude of some who attend this school makes me cringe.

    I understand and respect that some view online degrees as less valuable, and some of this stems from unsavory universities that have marketed themselves far too much. But I work extremely hard at my college classes and deeply resent anyone suggesting that my online college degree 'cheapens' anything.

    I probably should not be surprised, but I am!
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If it makes a difference, it looks like it's been a year since the group had any activity.

    But I still appreciate the irony of a group of students using social media to voice their opposition to an online program that they dislike in part because they see it as lacking a social dimension.
  3. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Yep, you should not be surprised. At all. Venture outside of our little, and I mean tiny, community of DL folks here and you will find the MAJORITY or people have a negative view of online degrees. You may have worked hard at your degree, but that hardly matters. You'll find that most elite college educated folks have the nastiest things to say about DL/Online learning. I frequent a number of discussion boards and have stopped trying to defend online learning and online colleges. To most people, U of P and schools like it are degree mills and most will flat out tell you that. They do not want to know about accreditation and things that could perhaps change their perception. They just want to yell "degree mill".

    You will always be fighting an up-hill battle with your online degree, fair or not.
  4. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    1. It's not like there's a highly paid social worker community in the world to be devalued in the first place.
    2. Looking at the commentary on the site, it's obvious that these people would get no where. Especially considering the degree is still offered.
    3. USC.. come on now, really. Good school but.. come now wake up not like we're talking MIT here.

    Welcome to the real world kiddos. If the group was still active I'd ask them to question the people at Stanford in predominantly online programs just to make it sting a little.

  5. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    Nice, I bet that never crossed their minds.
  6. JPedde

    JPedde New Member

    Hi all -- in full disclosure, I work in community relations for the [email protected] program but I just wanted to take a second to respond here. I'm glad that someone pointed out that this group is over a year old. Since this "cause" was posted we've had increasing demand for a program like this, and the quality of students never ceases to impress me. The online program really is under the same difficulty, requirements, and scrutiny that the on campus students are, and there's very little difference between oncampus/online, especially because our online program is face to face and in real time via a very specialized platform. All field requirements are the same, but you get to do them in your local community instead of southern california. We're graduating incredibly talented and skilled social workers - and it was obviously not taken very well at first because traditionally online programs are awful. The great thing is that faculty love it, students are loving it, and even some on campus students want to transfer into it. There's so much community and quality time with your faculty that its turned out to be such a great experience for all - and even the alumni are starting to support it.

    At the end of the day, when a [email protected] student graduates, no where on their degree does it say "online." It will be the exact degree that an on campus student gets, and then they will continue to make a difference in their local area. I'm so excited about the work we're doing here, and the accomplishments of these students across the country. :)
  7. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member


  8. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    Perhaps I'm going off on a tangent here but what one lacks in a so-called "elite" degree is often made up with strong work experience to back it up. Everyone is entitled to their opinions but in my personal experience those who didn't attend a traditional school often had many years of professional experience and are SME's in their respective fields. I wouldn't pay any attention to these comments. I work in the LE field and we have many folks with social work degrees however many of these folks started off patrolling a beat or supervising a prison workline. I think that it comes down to work experience and attitude as opposed to how/where your degree was earned. But that's my 2 cents.
  9. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Certainly not too much of a tangent at all provided you're willing to recognize that there are plenty of people with elite degrees that are equally experienced and will nearly always be the one chosen when two equally experienced people are presented to a hiring manager.
  10. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    ITJD my friend situations vary and I was speaking based on my own personal experience surely your experiences will no doubt differ. If one has the so-called experience to back it up sure the one elite degree will always win that's obvious. However, many folks have also taken a different route (military, law enforcement, etc.) and later obtained a degree online or through some hybrid program. I once took a class from a guy with a ph.d from stanford who never once ran an investigation, put on a uniform or supervised a cell block. These are the folks I'm referring too again your situation will probably differ and that's fine.
  11. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Actually we agree. I'm not a big fan of "career academics" much as I'm not a big fan of "career politicians". Neither really get it.
  12. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    Career politicians, don't get me started.
  13. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    Okay. So far, the word "folks" has been used 6 times this thread (okay, now 7 time thanks to me). Why can't everyone just use the word "people" or "persons" (depending upon context)?! :confused: :banghead:

    Sorry, this word has been a pet-peeve of mine for several years.

    </end rant>
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2011
  14. Splas

    Splas New Member

    Luddites, what an embarrassment to their university.
  15. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    I see it's already been posted, but isn't it ironic, don't ya think?

    "Which part of SOCIAL Work is cohesive with online classes?"

    I wonder is Ms. Knight realizes how ignorant this makes her look.
  16. GoodYellowDogs

    GoodYellowDogs New Member

    We probably need to stop referring to them as "online degrees". It's all about how you frame it, spin it, whatever. I've never heard anyone say "I got my degree at a brick and mortar school, but a lot of us, me included, talk about going to college online. Online is simply the method of delivery. From now on I think I'll say I take collee classes at night in Sacramento.... as that would be the truth! :)
  17. GoodYellowDogs

    GoodYellowDogs New Member

    And apparently I should take a typing class at night too! Sorry for the typos above.
  18. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Why should it bother folks like you when we use the word folks in speaking of folks to whom we are referring?:poke:
  19. HuggyBear

    HuggyBear New Member

    Hello all,

    I'm looking for a little bit of career couseling. I am a active duty military person stationed in CA who plans on retiring in 4 years after 24 years of service. I am currently 6 classes from finishing my BA in Psychology from American Military University (AMU). I would like to continue my studies at the University of Southern California (USC) in pursuit of a MSW with a concentration on services for military personnel.

    It's interesting to hear that there are people who try to object to our right to attend a college of this character online. We endup paying our dues the same as them but are constrained by our immediate careers or situtations. I am really excited about USC because of the concentration given on the military member and their families. It is a area that has been long neglected and few people outside of the military know how deep these issues could run.

    I have searched high and low for a good program that would meet my goals and have to admitt that USC's program appears to meet all of my expectations and more. My major concern would be the selection process. Do you think I would still have a fair shot at acceptance even though I am still on active duty? I know it is a very demanding program which is what I prefer. I have achieved my goals in the military by rising to the rank of E-9 and would like to now concentrate on setting myself up for a new career after retirement. The program that I do apply for and hopefully get accepted to has to be offered online in order for me to complete due to my military service. I was looking at the Sonoma State and California State-Long Beach partnership program but the next time they will be accepting students will be in 2013.

    I'm kinda lost because I know what I want to do after the military but am at a lost on how to get the ball rolling. I have been a counselor for numerous years in the military and really enjoy what I do. Now I would like to find a way to apply those same ethics and service outside of my uniform. I think I would be a asset working in a VA Hospital due to my experience and my combat experience. What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you think I have a good shot at getting accepted at USC? Have you seen any other active duty members get accepted to USCs MSW program?

    I currently have a overall GPA of 3.3 which I plan on raising to a 3.5 or 3.6 upon graduation in January. As far as my core classes I have a 3.5 GPA. I have looked at all of the accrediation of the different courses and programs, college ratings, students review and so forth but cannot get USC out of my head. It offers a program that presents the challenge that I want and thrive on. Yes the program is expensive but the way I look at it... where there is a will there is a way. I have a quote that I try to apply to everything that I do and it fits what I'm trying to do now perfectly.

    "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work." General Colin L. Powell.

    I look forward to hearing your opinions and advice. Thank you in advance.

    Striving for a new career...
  20. Turtle27

    Turtle27 New Member

    I have just finished my first year full-time and it is an amazing program! The combination of a highly quality curriculum plus fieldwork s super!

    It seems there is always a small loud group of dissenters ...but they openly admit that they are not doing the readings and don't allow themselves to appreciate that their internships reflect the real world. USC should add more content into their courses about how to be more diplomatic and do conflict resolution to address these issues.

    Also if students are so unhappy with this incredible program, they should go find one that works better for them instead endlessly complaining. Or learn how to advocate for themselves in an effective way!!!

    Maybe they are not ready to be graduate students and certainly are not ready to be social workers!!!

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