What's the deal? DETC

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by perplexed, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. vnazaire

    vnazaire Member

    This forum is to help people.

    Hi Rich, thank you for clarifying why this research is not yet published; I still think you should provide the findings of your research BEFORE the doctoral committee approves so.
    Can you tell us HOW MANY employers you contacted, their size, their industry field, the geographical areas, etc ?
    Can you provide the Questionnaire ?
    Until you provide these, for probity and good ethics, you should refrain from making assertions, allegations, which can be construed as bordering on slander.
    But you can always say : based on my opinion, based on my feelings or perception, ... Avoid saying based on my research until you provide the research , until that research is available to the general public.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: This forum is to help people.

    Ethics? Slander? Please. Aren't you applying just a teeny bit of hyperbole?

    The last time I looked, this is a discussion board, not a refereed journal. If you wish to assert that I am lying about either my research or its findings, fine. But save me the lecture.
  3. great_turtle

    great_turtle New Member

    It may not be slander, but it is irresponsible, as it tends to put some schools in a bad light. People use this board, and A.e.d to help them make reasonable choices for college, based on the idea that there are those with experience posting. When someone continues to refer to the conclusions of a research paper which is not even accessable (or in existance), it can still sway people's opinion. As a person going to a DETC school, I would like to see the DETC do well. DETC is still relatively new and does not need a lot of old-school-tie gossip. Stating that DETC credits are less accepted in the workplace then RA is, until someone provides evidence otherwise, unsubstantiated. In fact it sounds a lot more like someone has a hidden agenda.

    Thats all I have to say about it. I do thank you and everyone else for all the information they have given me, either directly or otherwise.
  4. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    Who is so deafe, or so blynde, as is hee, That wilfully will nother hear nor see?

    John Heywood, "Dialogue of Proverbs," 1546
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

  6. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    Blind and Deaf, we all miss the point

    I love it Bill; pretty sneaky thinking on the part of your wife. You know, I lived out in Washington (state) for a while. I loved the 85-MPH speed limit on I-5. (Or is it I-90/95?)

    Zowie, Jacob. You did a three unit course in 13 hours? This must be a record.

    Yes, sir. It was similar to using a CLEP exam to test out of the class, except that I also attended classes (i.e. read the lessons and practiced the practice questions except the ones I knew I could do with no problem). You remember that I had already taken and passed College Algebra, Pre-Calculus Trig., and Calculus I (at Jefferson State Community College {RA} and Ramsay High School). I also audited Calculus II and III from Berea College {also RA} in Berea, KY.

    The course in question was a Business Math course. With my prior-experience and education, a basic business math course was not much of a problem.

    I took one look at the text, spot-checked for new material (there was none), and went straight to the testing phase of my education. I admit I had to do some work to re-familiarize myself (like I said in an earlier post) with some of the material, but practically speaking I went straight to the tests.

    As explained in an earlier text, the college wouldn’t let me transfer any of my prior math courses in lieu of Business Math on grounds that the “course(s) are not relevant to mathematics in a business context.” (Which is faulty thinking to my mind, since algebra is all that is used by a business owner anyway.) I don’t really think 13 hours is much of a record because it took me so long to refresh myself on some very basic concepts and to pass all the tests.

    My research has shown the same is true in employment circles for DETC and ACICS accreditation. These are the facts. You're welcome to refute them.

    We trust your research Rich. We know that you wouldn’t knowingly attempt to deceive anyone. Based on the few posts I have read from you, you seem to be a straight shooter, if a little excitable. I expect that readers familiar with these discussions view your thoughts as being well positioned and organized. As for myself, I find you respectful and concise.

    With that said however, I must agree that an impartial person might not be willing to accept at face value something stipulated without documentation, even if the documentation is an unpublished work as yet. Otherwise, as vnazaire, said, “One can make any kind of assertions” and call them facts.

    An impartial body might ask some of the following:
    Why was the study performed? On what theory is the study based? What are the aims, hypothesis, independent and dependant variables, etc. etc.?

    Other possible problems for an impartial body might be:
    Context effects on responses to questions, question ordering, any contrast effects (in an either/or situation), question wording, is there a middle position? (how is it measured?), did you use vague quantifiers (like sometimes, fewest, most), methodological bias, effects of interviewer expectation, validation (how was this data validated?), effects of a superior/subordinate presence on responses, etc.

    I want to make sure that the study is not tainted in any way before I go to my HR department and say “Ok, from now on we only hire degreed employees whose school’s accreditation is Regional.”

    I want to make sure that no intentional or unintentional bias has entered into the set.

    Now I know that Rich wouldn’t taint his study, or give his interviewees a bias of any kind knowingly, or unknowingly, but I (like many) would like to know where his conclusions come from and have an idea of any pre-interview bias (if possible).

    I don’t know much about creating interview scripts or gauging error but I do recognize that creating a study of this magnitude is difficult, tedious, and time-consuming. I also recognize that getting a pure sampling of public opinion is impossible.

    I have seen a tremendous amount of negativity in this forum with respect to a lot of things. If I didn’t know better I might suspect that some people (possibly, including myself) may just speak up to blow off steam.

    Talking about education is something of a touchy process since it is one of the first measuring posts against which we learned to judge ourselves as early as grade school. Everyone is on edge because with a word here, or a whisper there, our alma mater might bite the dust (metaphorically speaking, of course). We all want to go to the best schools and have the best jobs and provide the best quality of living for our families. I think even those with self-proclaimed “hate” for learning, might somewhere wish they had a better opportunity or made more of the opportunities they have met in life.

    It may not be slander, but it is irresponsible, as it tends to put some schools in a bad light.

    One hundred percent! Right on.

    Now, I recognize that our function in this microcosm of society called the DL Discussion Forums is to reach towards some consensus, or barring that to increase the knowledge-level of ourselves and our fellow members. I know that an unspoken promise in any society is to be honest in our studies and our teachings. Sometimes that may mean someone may have to slam me for attending Ashworth College. Sometimes that may mean I might have to speak up if someone is getting the door slammed on his or her viewpoint without “fair and just consideration”.

    I think it is our function to put some schools in a bad light. Period. But I’m in a learning mode, I don’t yet know if a DETC accredited institution should be viewed in a bad light.

    I came to this forum initially wanting to learn about St. Regis University, the apparently legal, relatively inexpensive, but unaccredited (by US standards) granter of degrees based on life experience and prior-learning. I did not use their services due directly to the posts on this forum and due to a PM/email from Dr. Bear. (I have since learned that the Oregon law is not enforced, and probably can’t be.)

    My employer won’t reimburse me for a RA ($5k per year) degree, even if I had the time to skip work to accomplish it. (Cost issues) He did agree to reimburse me for attendance through Ashworth College ($2k per year). He knows there is a difference between the colleges’ accrediting agencies but as far as he’s concerned “it is education”. (He is from the old school; He doesn’t have a degree himself, and doesn’t really think anyone needs one.)

    A responsible approach might be to discuss the differences of quality of education between DETC and RA. A responsible approach might be to compare the two. A responsible approach might be to figure out why employers and educators treat them differently.

    But it has been demonstrated. You don't need me or any other single source of information for that. You have Bear's survey (which just about no one around here has read but Bear and me--I did the statistical analysis of the results. I don't hear you complaining about that.) You also have a host of anecdotal evidence where DETC-accredited degrees are not accepted in some situations. Finally, you have DETC's own studies which show that their credits and degrees are not always acceptable to employers and schools! Or didn't you read them before you published your comments?

    Actually Rich, I’d be interested in knowing where DETC’s studies are. I did a cursory review of their website when someone else suggested that I review their studies but didn’t find any blaring, blinking lights saying “This way to DETC Acceptance Studies.”

    Secondly, I don’t accept Dr. Bear’s survey either (sorry Dr. Bear) without reading it in its context. Context is more important than numbers. I learned that in Psychology 101 at a RA college.

    I’ve not heard too much about DETC degrees not being accepted outside of this forum. The question is “who is doing the accepting?” and “What are their rationales?” I’m sure that no one outside academia would automatically say, “Ashworth, now that’s a DETC accredited school isn’t it? Well…interview over. No job for you.” That would be plain stupid.

    The type of people getting DETC degrees (from my intuition, in my opinion if you will) are older then the average RA institution attendee, employed full-time in the field of their choice, and have more then 2 or so (mid-career) of years of experience in that field. So of course there are some differences. Honestly, going back to school after more than 6 years, I’m finding that DETC accredited education is easier than I remember RA education from my immediate post-high school past. If course, if you want real honesty, I’ll have to admit as well that I went back to a RA school very part-time for about 2 years a couple of years back. It too was easier than I remember my earlier RA educational experiences.

    So, as far as I’m concerned as far as ease of course-work goes it’s about the same.

    Let me briefly tell you a story about a friend of mine. He works in the same building I do. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a double major in computer programming and technical writing. He is a good man. Sells himself every day, so don’t think that what I will say next makes him a looser or something….

    His degree is from a RA institution. He has just about 7 years experience in computer programming. He works from 8-3 M-F as a computer programmer and then goes to Wal-Mart and works as a “stock-boy” from 4-1.

    He has been doing that for close to 4 years.

    Now, that is not fair. We talk about DETC degrees not being accepted. Well what good is that RA degree doing my friend? He is working 17 hours a day just to keep afloat because he doesn’t earn enough as a computer programmer.
  7. jmetro

    jmetro New Member

    second half of diatribe

    I think that DETC or RA, an institution’s degree is only as good as the person’s ability to sell themselves and the economy’s ability to support them. As an employer, if I were hiring and I found a person with a RA degree but no experience and a person with a DETC degree but some experience, I will hire the person with the DETC degree and the experience first. If I found a person with a RA degree and 7 years of experience and a person with a DETC degree and 9 years of experience, I would hire the DETC degreed person first. If I found a person with a RA degree with 6 years experience and a person with a DETC degree also with 6 years experience, the issue would no longer be one of education or experience. The issue would now be an issue of fit, his/her understanding of my company and position in it, and willingness to work.

    All of the employers that I have had value experience above education, and demonstrable knowledge above method of learning. Both “Ma & Pa” companys and international firms have employed me, so I have some breadth of experience with employers and their hiring practices.

    I’m not saying that every employer is the same as mine have been. But, I wonder if it makes for better PR if a company appears to favor RA degrees over DETC degrees? That would put a hole in a study real fast. Here’s what I should do if I had the time or inclination:
    1. Find out the number of degreed persons living in the US.
    2. Divide them into RA, DETC, and Other categories.
    3. Find out the number of people employed using these degree categories.
    4. Ask for corporate records showing (without personally identifiable information) the number of employees employed having degrees from a given source.
    5. Ask for records showing (without personally identifiable information, again) the average wage paid to employees using degrees in a given class. (or to make it simple for them, ask for wage information by degree type and accreditation type)
    6. Then compute the number of degreed persons working per category, the number of people employed by industry per category and the average wage by industry by category.

    This would be the kind of proof I would need.

    In fact, I think you may have to add a “none” category.

    I think you’ll meet some resistance in the corporate world enacting such a small study. And here’s why: THEY DON’T REALLY CARE.

    So long as the business is making a profit and the employee is bringing a positive contribution to the company it shouldn’t (and doesn’t, trust me) matter how they got the knowledge to perform their jobs. The degree is often necessary to get into the door, but the profits generated and contributions brought forth are what make the person valuable.
  8. Charles

    Charles New Member

    Graduates and Employers Evaluate the worth of DETC Degrees

    "In July 2001 the Distance Education and Training Council surveyed graduates of 21 DETC-accredited degree-granting institutions. Members were asked to submit a random sample of 100 names of graduates from their degree programs. The degrees awarded ranged from the Associates through the Master’s degree levels."

  9. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    This survey was discussed here a few months ago. See thread entitled DETC vs Regional Accreditation (and in particular the comments on the survey by John Bear).
  10. Charles

    Charles New Member

    Thanks, Gert. I was answering jmetro's question.

  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I am not trying to convince employers that degree programs at DETC schools are in some way inferior. In fact, I'm not trying to convince employers of anything. I attempted to measure what they do, not what they should do.

    The most recent DETC survey is available from their website. Two previous survey reports are also available from ERIC.

    jmetro: I think it is our function to put some schools in a bad light. Period. But I’m in a learning mode, I don’t yet know if a DETC accredited institution should be viewed in a bad light.

    Rich: I don't know if they should be, either. But they are viewed in a dimmer light by both employers and admissions officials at RA schools.

    It's easy to reject things that don't agree with your desires, biases, intuitions, etc. I couldn't care less what someone does or does not do with their degree from a DETC-accredited school. But making statements implying, as some have done, that there is no reason to think degrees from a DETC-accredited school have some limitations is naive.
  12. sp9624

    sp9624 member

    When will you be able to back up your claims with evidence?
  13. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Mr. or Ms. P:
    When will you be able to back up your claims with evidence.

    John Bear:
    I've got the data from the academic world and you can have that right now. Rich's dissertation will have the data from the business world. He shouldbe done with his Ph.D. pretty soon.

    My data, extracted from questionnaires returned by 335 registrars, and presented at the registrars' national convention in Seattle a couple of years ago:

    Always accept:
    Regionally accredited, residential: 100%
    Regionally accredited, on-line: 93%
    DETC: 19%
    California Approved, 1/3 of 1%

    Often accept:
    Regionally accredited, on-line, 7%
    DETC: 10%
    California Approved, 1/3 of 1%

    Sometimes accept:
    DETC, 9%
    California Approved, 2/3 of 1%
  14. Chsheaf

    Chsheaf New Member

    Great Discussions. I'll add a little sidebar to all this for your thoughts.
    I just received my Associates from Ashworth College. I transferred to Columbia Southern University. Each one of their courses requires two to four unit exams plus a proctored final. In addition, each course requires a scholarly or research paper with five or more bibliographies.

    My Ashworth credits were available to transfer to several RA schools. That was a surprise. However, these schools cost was double or more per credit hour from that of Columbia Southern. Also I learned that many of these RA schools don't require exams and if they do, none of the exams are proctored.

    Makes you wonder about the difference in the education process between RA and NA. :confused:
  15. wfready

    wfready New Member

    This is not the norm (atleast from my experience). Only two I can think of off the top of my head that EVERY course offered is not proctored is Univ of Pheonix and Empire State (I thought I heard a student mention there were no proctored examinations). You know I am starting to think that it is at the discretion of the instructor and the method of instruction used. I am taking a class that requires a proctored exam; however, the exam is only 15% of the total grade (as if it was one of the assignments). On the other hand, I take another course that makes it very hard to get a good grade if you do not do well in the exam. Perhaps, its the fact that the one class that counts a small percentage for the final, requires assignments with research, creativity, student interaction, and all that other stuff. This makes it harder for me as a DL student to NOT LEARN what is expected.

    There are RA schools w/ DL programs that are cheap too. I don't buy the RA schools are too expensive schpiel (spelling :D). Oh well, hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
  16. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    I'm always amused when people indicate that DETC-accredited schools are the only ones offering inexpensive classes, classes by correspondence, classes with flexible schedules, and so forth.


    One can sign up for a program at Edison on the flat-rate program, and it includes 30 credits in their DIAL program, plus all the portfolio credits you can cram in, and all for (last I looked) under $3500.

    For additional credits, there are lots of options, including Chemeketa Community College in WA that's about 20 bucks a credit hour. I believe the Oregon state schools and several other state school systems also give in-state tuition to all DL students, and there are a number of other schools with very inexpensive per-credit-hour rates.

    Ohio University allows one to take the exams for any course they offer through DL and, if you pass, get the credit.

    So there are many, many low cost options for earning an RA degree.

    So when cost isn't a factor, you won't have the limitations on transferability and employer acceptance that come with a DETC degree, it's pretty hard to argue against the RA route, other things being equal.
  17. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    And the absolutely best distance learning option in terms of cost is reserved for members of the golden state. Community college distance learning courses are $11 per unit for in-state tuition. Given that California has over 100 community colleges (not all with DL, though, but many), there are many opportunities to take courses cheaply.

    And, even more importantly, it has been my experience that these courses compare favorably with on-ground courses.

    Tom Nixon
  18. plcscott

    plcscott New Member

    Originally posted by Rich Douglas


    I am just curious about the above statement. Your profile has your birthday as 1969, so did you start studying, and working in higher ed. at 10 years of age? Is that a misprint, or are you just a higher education prodigy?


  19. wfready

    wfready New Member

    I think thats a typo PLC. I think he has enlisted, separated, commisioned, then retired from the US Air Force too (I could be wrong about retiring..). That alone would prove a hard accomplishment being only 34 years old! :D

    Best Regards,
  20. kf5k

    kf5k member

    It's true that not every school will accept DETC degrees or credits, but many will, especially if you present yourself and the school you used in an effective manner. I'm working on a DETC degree now and the school is very acceptable to me, I like the school and its process. I wouldn't hesitate to use a DETC accredited school. Don't believe the RA or no way crowd. They have an agenda and push it all the time. RA may be best for you or possibly not. Make your own decision for your own reasons, not for my reasons or the ideas of another. Look around and see what's available and then decide. Best wishes and good luck in education. Here is the DETC site if you wish to check them out.

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