Why choose DETC?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by bennylinus, Mar 10, 2010.

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  1. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    Since it's well established that DETC is inferior to regional accreditation, why would anyone want to choose a DETC school?
  2. bmills072200

    bmills072200 New Member

    I see only 2 likely reasons:

    Money - some DETC programs are less expensive than other RA options...

    Ignorance - some people don't understand the difference or don't care
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I see one. I'm not so sure there aren't comparably priced RA options vice DETC-accredited schools.

    We often dwell on the argument that RA is better than DETC--which it is demonstrably. But I'd love to hear the argument in favor of DETC-accredited schools over RA ones. That would be interesting.
  4. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    I've wondered the same thing. So far no one has been able to offer an explanation that is even remotely satisfactory to me. There are so many RA DL programs out there now, many of which are even cheaper than DETC, that it just doesn't make sense to go DETC only.
  5. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    Sometimes the formats are more flexible. For example, Ashworth College's graduate courses have no start or end dates and no assignment deadlines. The classes are basically web-based correspondence courses. Their master of criminal justice, for example, would be a great degree for most enforcement persons. Most police agencies couldn't care less about the type of accreditation as long as the school is legit. The flexibility of the program allows people with busy schedules to meet all their obligations and study when free time comes. I don't think such a program exists at the graduate level in any RA school.
  6. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    One other reason could be that a DETC school offers a unique program not found at RA schools ... I'm thinking for example of the programs offered by Harrison Middleton University ... or vocational degrees/diplomas like locksmithing or something.

    Another reason could be that some people have think that DETC degrees are easier than the equivalent RA degree, but that of course is often/usually not the case ...
  7. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    The real question is: Do a school's qualities make a student want to enroll in it? If the answer is yes, for reasons that can actually be justified to employers and to professional peers (and not just 'fast', 'cheap' and 'easy'), then the school's choice of institutional accreditation might not be the biggest consideration.

    The moral: A strong school will be strong whatever recognized accreditation it happens to have. A weak school will still be weak. Institutional accreditation isn't likely to be the variable that makes or breaks the school.

    So, to answer the original question: If we hope to comment on why somebody might choose to enroll in a DETC school, we will need to know what that person desires and needs in a school, and which DETC school he or she is actually considering.
  8. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I think people choose school for what it can offer them.
    Flexibility, price, DL.

    Usually smaller schools with less bureaucracy and more individual service.

    Every call and email get answered, always available instructors.
    Simply quality service, agreements honored.

    So RA I had experience with, you are one of thousands that apply, you need to call more then once, emails go unanswered for weeks or not at all.
    Transfer credit issued suddenly no longer on the record and a lot of headache.
    NOt always geared toward DL student.

    This is based on personal experience with 4 different Public and private universities.
  9. jek2839

    jek2839 New Member

    Great response!!!
  10. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    It might not make or break the school, but it will certainly make or break the students chance of going onto post graduate studies at a regionally accredited school.

    Show me some evidence that these DETC schools are on par with regionally accredited schools. And if they are up to par, why haven't they sought out regional accreditation?

    With all of the RA schools now offering distance education, I really don't understand why someone would even bother gambling with a DETC degree.
  11. imalcolm

    imalcolm New Member

    I originally attended a DETC accredited school not for a degree but for an electronics certificate course. The certificate did help get me a job at a time when I needed one pretty badly.

    The grad school I am attending now (AMU) has both DETC and regional accreditation. For smaller schools, I think one of the limiting factors is money - RA is expensive.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2010
  12. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Yeah, for bachelors degrees that's a significant consideration I guess. Transferability of credits is probably the biggest weakness that DETC schools have that's directly attributable to the accreditation itself.

    It might not be such a big factor for graduate degrees.

    You seem kind of combative. Was your original question rhetorical?

    The point that I was making is that it typically makes more sense to look directly at the schools themselves than at whoever their institutional accreditor happens to be.

    That leads to the answer to your original question, since the features that people find attractive in a particular program are likely going to explain why they subsequently choose to enroll in it. It's going to be a person-specific and school-specific decision.

    People choose programs that might in some cases be DETC accredited because something about a particular program attracts them. People don't just randomly "choose a DETC program".

    Generally speaking, DETC schools are smaller with fewer financial resources and simpler administrations.

    If we are talking about generic degrees like MBAs where there are lots of DL alternatives that don't differ a whole lot one to another, then you might have a point. Of course, if the degrees really are generic, then differences in institutional accreditation might not matter in many check-the-box situations. It might make sense for some students to go with the cheaper alternative if they are confident that the DETC degree will work for them.

    If we are talking about less generic degrees, then I'll echo Emmzee. A DETC school might offer a program that's particularly attractive to somebody for some reason personal to them. Harrison-Middleton's rather unique DA program was an excellent example. Somebody might be attracted to Perelandra's Christian-oriented MFA in creative writing. There are people who might like the University of Philosophical Research's consciousness studies masters. Stuff like that.
  13. major56

    major56 Active Member

    By and large, not-for-profit RA public colleges /universities simply offer their non-traditional graduate programs in the sense that it isn’t compulsory that the non-standard learner (typically professional adult market focused) physically attend a traditional classroom setting at a particular B&M campus (e.g. yet another line-extension “me-too” product /service offering via hi-tech outreach). Nevertheless, many such programs continue in lock-step with standardized high stakes entrance exam testing, standard (inflexible) 15-16 week customary semester format throughout institutions that persist by tradition from the hierarchical (top-down management) approach, tenured and bureaucratic in mind-set and scope, and organizationally status quo led and inertia-driven.

    There’s no true originality or remarkable public DL market niche players – just another well crowded marketplace with no existent market leader/s. Regrettably, the very negligible innovation that’s even promoted by traditional universities, if at all, is in offering a technology-driven program arrangement with the added convenience of not needing to locate a parking place.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Not compared to the revenues accredited schools see, typically. If a school at 30 students, I could buy the argument. But if it has hundreds or thousands, then it has the revenues to maintain regional accreditation.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This argument, which I've also advanced, is the only one I've ever heard that might (might!) be compelling. Almost any other DETC-oriented scenario can be replicated at an RA school.

    I don't necessarily agree with Bill's argument that it is the school, not its accreditation, that is largely at issue. Inferior accreditation can interfere not just with grad school admission, but also employment. Many employers (no one really knows how many) will not accept degrees from nationally accredited schools. That is never true regarding regionally accredited schools. I've never seen an employer discriminate against RA in favor of NA. Of course, we see it all the time the other way around.

    Back in the good ol' days (the '70s), one could make the case for taking a degree at an unaccredited, non-residential (or short-residential) school. There weren't many non- and short-residency programs, nontraditional schools had trouble getting accredited, etc. But no more. The only reason for doing so today is if one finds a unique program (like WISR). The same applies to DETC.
  16. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    I once chose a (then) DETC only program because they were the only one offering an MA in Civil War Studies.
  17. So you have even more degrees than your signature suggests?

    Question for Ted: Do you mirror the consensus of this thread, that DETC is primarily useful for its schools/programs that can't be found in RA?

    Question for the Public: If all DETC programs had an RA counterpart, would there then be NO use for DETC to exist at all?
  18. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    For me, I'd say yes, there would be no use. RA is more widely recognized and if a DETC degree had an RA counterpart that was roughly the same price and covered the same material, I would pick the RA degree 100% of the time. I'm not sure what the draw to DETC would be in that case.

    I'm a huge believer in you never know what the future will bring. Why pursue a degree where you might have to jump through hoops in the future to get into a grad school or even be shut out of certain jobs like teaching etc. because you picked DETC instead of RA when an RA equivalent program was available for the same price.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2010
  19. morganplus8

    morganplus8 New Member

    Well, let's hash this one again:

    DETC schools are synonymous with DL, some are very good at it. RA schools feel the need to offer DL as part of a recognized demand for that product, and yet, some of those same schools offer deplorable DL programs to their students. So why not consider a well presented DL program even if it comes from a DETC school when you may well be faced with RA DL program that stinks?

    Oh yeah, teaching is NOT everything for every student in this world, some students want enrichment, 100% DL, a terminal degree, DETC provides that kind of service.

    Let's stir the pot some more ..... :)
  20. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Well, I actually don't have a degree from American Military University; I washed out halfway through the program.

    Well, I think the usefulness of DETC is primarily for degrees that can't be found in RA (or if one was inadmissible with the RA counterpart).
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