What would be the reasoning behind this policy other than ignorance?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by sanantone, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I live in Bexar County, Texas. The Sheriff's Office here has this stupid policy of not giving education incentive pay for "internet degrees." Whenever I hear someone say "internet degree," I think of someone who can barely use a computer. They also won't accept degrees from institutions without physical campuses. Considering that they are obviously computer illiterate (I know many of these people) and uninformed about the current state of higher education, I doubt they can accurately determine whether a degree was earned through the internet. They can't just assume that a degree from University of Phoenix was earned online because they have physical campuses. They also can't assume that a master's degree from Texas A&M was earned on campus. In most cases, the transcripts and diplomas for online degrees are exactly like those of their campus counterparts, so the Sheriff's Office would have to ask someone if a degree was earned online if they can even think to ask.

    This is where this policy really gets stupid. Bexar County, probably without knowing it, is saying that they will pay you more for a degree from schools like University of Phoenix, Kaplan, Devry, and Strayer; but, they will not pay you more for an "internet degree" from Cornell, Stanford, Harvard Extension, Carnegie Mellon, University of North Carolina, George Washington University, or any of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Texas State, or University of Houston campuses. Also without knowing it, they could be paying someone extra for an associate's degree from the Alamo Community Colleges that was earned online. There is absolutely no way they can tell since those colleges are local. Additionally, University of the Incarnate Word and Our Lady of the Lake University offer a lot of online programs, and St. Mary's University offers an online master's program.

    On page 25.
  2. instant000

    instant000 Member

  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Someone of more import than me should send a letter to those who wrote the policy asking what their qualifications are for evaluating educational methodology. It's a valid question, since regional accreditation is not enough in their eyes. What do the good people at the sheriff's office know that the accreditors don't? Or the big name institutions that accept degrees earned online as filling the prerequisite for admission into graduate programs?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2013
  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    If CareerPoint ever becomes regionally-accredited, even with its horrible reputation locally, a degree from there will earn you incentive pay while an online degree from some of the best schools in the country will not. Maybe I should email Rick Perry's office and tell them that his beloved WGU-Texas is not good enough for BCSO. I don't know much about unions since I live in a right-to-work state where it seems like only the public sector unions have power, but this collective bargaining agreement lasts all the way to 2015. So, I don't know if anything can be changed before then.
  5. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    My "internet degree" from Angelo State University (part of the Texas Tech system) was good enough for Texas State University's on campus, PhD program; but, it's not good enough for a little more on my paycheck at the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. There are on campus instructors at the Alamo Community Colleges with "internet degrees" who probably taught a lot of the deputies.
  6. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    Ughhhhhh...........Here we go again! The ignorance is astounding! First of all, there is no such thing as an "internet degree". A college degree is awarded by an institution, not the internet! Secondly, every institution in the country is now utilizing the internet in one way or another. I haven't heard of anyone typing a term paper, stapling it and handing it to a professor. Those days are long gone! Most Universities now offer an online library for research. Many schools have webinars for additional class instruction! Let's get out of the dark ages!
  7. instant000

    instant000 Member

    Let me see how my degrees stack up against this policy:

    American Sentinel University - Nationally Accredited, No Physical Campus, Online Only - By unanimous decision, I lost the fight.
    Western Governors University - Regionally Accredited, No Physical Campus, Online Only - By majority decision, I lost the fight.

    Also, I like how they cap their obligations, only 20 Masters and 125 Bachelors will get the pay incentive. How do they decide order-of-merit for this?
  8. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    They probably go by seniority. I have had a lot of contact with BCSO personnel. I doubt most of the detention and law enforcement officers have a 4-year degree or higher. These are the same people who voted on this collective bargaining agreement. I'm almost certain this policy came out of pure ignorance. They probably agreed to such a low cap because they know the average education attainment level is low.
  9. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I think what we have all failed to consider is how much smaller a college has to be to fit through the tubes of the internets.
  10. skidadl

    skidadl Member

    Once again the city of SA proves they have no idea what they are doing.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is an example of using a sledge hammer where a ball peen hammer would do.

    Law enforcement agencies have been particularly inept when it comes to accepting fake degrees. The anecdotes have been plentiful. So they guard against this potential embarrassment by implementing policies that only serve to further demonstrate their rabid ignorance in such matters. So now, degrees from accredited universities offered by DL get lumped in with diploma mills. Nice. I don't think it has anything to do with a perception that B&M is superior to DL. They're just covering their butts--and they can.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Degree stack:

    AAS, CCAF: Awarded for credits earned on-the-job, by examination, and some classwork. Yes? No? (Ya gonna deny a vet?)
    AA, BA, BS: USNY Regents: Not by the "internet." Some night school courses. Lots (and lots and lots and lots....) of credit by exam. Yes? No?
    MBA: National University. Mostly B&M, but two courses on the computer (not the internet) and two by independent study. Yes? No?
    Ph.D.: Union Institute. No internet. Short residencies. Lots of independent study. Yes? No?
    Current thingy: B&M school offering degree via directed independent study, plus research. Yes? No?

    These guys are performing surgery without training and with a very blunt instrument. The patient's outlook is not good.
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    They probably didn't even consider correspondence education from brick and mortar schools. USNY Regents aka Excelsior College awards "internet degrees" and has no physical campus. Even if you only transferred in courses taken on ground, your degree would still be a no. On the other hand, if you transferred in a bunch of online courses and finished off in a ground program, then your degree should be accepted. All of this would probably make their heads explode.
  14. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    Perhaps we should send the geniuses at Bexar County a link to this thread to enlighten them. Oh wait...no, can't do that. That would require them using one of those new computer gadgets and that arpanet / interweb thing.

    *rolls eyes*
  15. Dr Rene

    Dr Rene Member

    Isn’t Pamerleau the Bexar County sheriff? She is a retired USAF general. The Air Force has always supported DL education. It’s interesting to see that her office (Bexar County Sheriff) would have such a policy concerning DL education.

  16. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    The agreement was made under former Sheriff Ortiz.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes, she is. She was a major general (2 stars) in charge of personnel matters. I met her a few times when when we were both stationed at Lackland AFB. She was a LtCol back then, but people in the know knew she was destined for much greater heights.

    I'm a little surprised she's a sheriff. She was a personnel type in the Air Force. But I guess it's a political position, and she was always suited for that game.

    I agree that she should know better and change this. But it also shows a severe lack of understanding in the Air Force about human capital management. She was good at personnel, but didn't have a role in managing the Air Force's human capital. Yuck.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2013
  18. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I don't know if the agreement can be easily modified since it doesn't expire until 2015. Sheriff in Texas is a political position. Some people were concerned about her lack of law enforcement experience, but she ended up being the only option besides the inept Amadeo Ortiz. I know a lot of hardcore Democrats who voted for Pamerleau just to replace Ortiz. Under the law, she has to become a certified peace officer. I think she has a year.

    I put a lot of the blame for all of the county's problems on the commissioners court. They have been really stingy with funding. Even though it shows their ignorance, the people who came up with the wording of the policy were probably trying to come up with every way possible to limit the number of people eligible for incentive pay. Maybe if the county invested more in paying their deputies a competitive wage and incentives, then they would attract higher caliber employees. They are having trouble filling jailer positions because a lot of the types of applicants they attract can't pass the really simple written test. Among the people who have managed to get hired, several of them have embarrassed the department in the news the past couple of years. Things got so bad that, under Pamerleau, the sheriff's association started a fund to give free rides to intoxicated deputies.

    Free Cab Rides Offered To Intoxicated Off-Duty Bexar County Deputies | Texas Public Radio
    Bexar County deputy shot at his own birthday party | kvue.com Austin
    Police: K-9 officer catches Bexar County deputy stealing copper | khou.com Houston
    Two Bexar County jailers on leave after fight; one man's ear bitten off | kens5.com San Antonio
  19. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    The largest markets for many accredited distance learning degree programs are United States military and veterans.

    Hundreds of accredited distance learning degrees are approved, supported, and funded both by all branches of the military and by the Department of Veterans Affairs – and by state governments, including by Texas under the Hazlewood Act – for those who wrote "checks to the United States of America for a value up to and including their lives."

    I'm alarmed that the Bexar County Sheriff's Office has a policy that might rule out recognizing the accredited degrees of a population consisting very heavily of United States veterans.
  20. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Amadeo Ortiz was in the military!

Share This Page