Why choose DETC?

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

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  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Several members have mentioned the idea that there might be a specific degree offered by a DETC school that can't be found through DL in an RA school. To me, that's the most (only) compelling reason for choosing a DETC school.

    As for Learner, I'm sorry that you've had some negative experiences with RA schools. We all get frustrated with bureaucracies. But can you name a single DETC school that offers the services you listed 100% of the time? Perfection is elusive Learner and I think you're creating a myth that is based on nothing more than wishful thinking.
  2. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Actually I didn't say that. I said that the explanation for why people choose DETC programs isn't going to be found in the accreditation, it's going to be found in the program features.

    But I do agree with your restatement of my point. The way I look at it, programs have all kinds of features. Distinctions between accreditors is definitely one of those features. But it isn't the only one and for many students (including myself) it isn't the most interesting or important one.

    The same kind of argument can be made about distance learning. Students would probably be best advised to avoid distance learning entirely and go for the best full-time B&M program that they can gain admission to. But the fact remains that DL does serve the needs of countless students and it does it very well.

    DETC schools might be a sub-optimal alternative in some respects. (Just like DL.) I've made that argument myself. But they aren't worthless either and they answer many students' needs. Students just have to be clear about what it is that they need and about what particular programs are offering them.
  3. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    That depends on what 'counterpart' means, I guess.

    If it means 'exact duplicate' (apart from the accreditation), then there might not be much point to the DETC schools, provided that the RA schools had enough places to accomodate everybody.

    But it's never the case that everything's identical. Even if an RA school and a DETC school offer degrees at the same level in the same major, they are going to have different professors, different syllabi, different classes available, and very likely different emphases and strengths.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is a faulty dilemma and predicated on a false assumption.

    The false assumption: that DETC programs will be "well presented." Some may not be.

    The faulty dilemma: That students are stuck between "well presented" DETC programs and RA programs that stink.

    How about good RA programs instead?

    If one wants to infer that DETC schools are good at DL because they are DL only, what about RA schools that are DL only? The best of both worlds: a good process leading to a superior degree.

    And let's not get too caught up in the idea that B&M RA schools are somehow predisposed to delivering less-than-optimal experiences. And let's also not assume that DETC schools will consistently deliver superior programs either.

    No, other than a few niche degree programs, there really isn't a reason to take a degree from a DETC-accredited school. There is always an RA alternative if one is willing to look.
  5. ITJD

    ITJD Guest

    We left out a very good reason to choose a DETC program:

    You can join a DETC program so you can improve your debating skills on distance-learning forum communities.

    Can't get that at an RA program.. it's a bonus..

  6. To add to this: thanks to the BIG THREE, the entire make-up of an RA degree is squarely in the hands of the individual student. If you like some components of one school and some of another, simply take what you like from either and transfer them in to Charter Oak et al. This is especially true with the Liberal Studies and Interdiciplinary Studies options.

    I'm not one to hate on DETC- I think it's great that there is at least the option out there, but it is difficult for me to see exactly what niche they are filling when there are 3 RA schools that allow your requirements to be filled a la carte.
  7. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    There is a % of people who don't know that there is a difference between RA and NA accreditation.
    They simply select the school for what it can offer them as long as the school is accredited.
    They discover after graduation or when they for some reason want to transfer to another school that there maybe a problem to transfer to another school or the other limitation that some NA DETC graduates run in to.

    My experience was with large state universities including my wife's experiences.

    As I mentioned in my earlier post, the NA school I attended was such a relieve in comparison to other "Behemoths".
    It was small and customer service oriented.
    Not easy at all when it came to academics. Things I found typical in the state universities I dealt with most of the time required improvement in the way they treat students. As I mentioned, emails went unanswered, calls unanswered,
    mess with records just to name a few. An atmosphere as they are doing you a favor.
    Unavailability of classes when you needed to wait extra years to get enrolled in the classes and much more.

    Then I dealt with small private DETC accredited University. Every time I needed instructor support, including to my surprise Christmas time there was one. If there was no instructor Dean was assisting.
    Every email answered relatively fast, same day usually or the latest on a next day.
    All administrative requests dealt with successfully. I felt wanted and respected.

    Maybe it has nothing to do with accreditation but simply I lucked out with small student friendly, professional organization.
    After graduating I wrote a thank you letter and copied Michael Lambert to let him know how well the school treated me.

    The reply:

    Thank you for writing to me, and we are very glad to learn of your fine experience with XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX.

    We wish you every success in your career and again, we are very happy to hear that you were treated so well.

    XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX is an excellent institution with a wonderful staff and faculty. And it is always inspiring to me to learn of stories like yours.

    All good wishes,

    Michael P. Lambert
    Executive Director
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  8. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    I think you spelled your screen name incorrectly.
  9. simon

    simon New Member

    At each successive stage of life individuals' needs and goals continue to change and perhaps evolve as they relate to their educational and career development. So while at certain points in their lives a regionally accredited degree may have been in their best interests to promote their careers and to enhance their professional vitae, at others, especially as one matures chronologically and professionally, a DETC degree may be an appropriate choice. Therefore, prospective students need to determine whether a DETC versus a RA degree will enhance or hinder their career and professional status and whether considering such factors as age, financial and time commitments whether a DETC degree may be a viable option.

    It is not a contest as to whether RA is superior to DETC BUT what is in the best personal and professional interests of each prospective student and ONLY that individual can determine the most relevant pathway to attain their objectives.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    If customer service is one's main criterion, then one is due to be saddled with a less-than-utile degree for, oh, forever. Not such a good trade-off. Also, I'm not sure I accept the premise that RA schools deliver lower quality customer service.

    If how one is treated as a customer is really a factor, I suspect that person doesn't have the chops to complete a real degree. Sure, we all want to be treated with deference and respect, but is that really the reason for pursuing an inferior degree?
  11. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I hold 5 year traditional degree from my home country, this was my second degree.

    I used to deal with a large bank when it suited my needs then I switched to a smaller bank when I liked the service they provided. In both cases the basic service was good. The small bank went out of their way to make sure I remained their customer. Neither gave me free money nor the schools I attended.
    So my point is we live in a free country and have choices, no one system is domination or forcing us to go there.
    I'm very happy with Academics, Education in all of the schools attended.

    I'm now holding RA Equivalent foreign and DETC degrees.
    Needed to have degree in Info Systems Management and got it.
    The DETC degree was recognized for my employment needs. It already paid for it self.

    I should have stated in earlier post that I didn't complain about the academics, I took academics as equal in both the RA's and the DETC School I attended. Some programs with the same text books etc.

    Maybe if the smaller school was RA the service would have been the same, I just had better experience with smaller school that happen to be accredited by DETC.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Under what circumstances? When is pursuing a "DETC degree" a good idea, superior to pursing a degree from an RA school? Unless one acknowledges that such a degree is easier to obtain, I'm still waiting for another reason.
    This is telling, if true. This statement says pursuing a degree from a DETC-accredited school will take less finances and time. Hmmm.....
    But this avoids the issue. If degrees from DETC-accredited schools are easier, doesn't that indicate they are also inferior? And we already know they're inferior in the eyes of employers and universities.

    I still haven't seen anything that belies the following points:

    -- Degrees from DETC-accredited schools are easier.
    -- Degrees from RA schools are more acceptable and utile.
    -- For almost every degree available from a DETC-accredited school, there are similar RA options.
    -- Except for a very few niche programs (like HMU), DETC-accredited schools offer generic degrees that can be obtained from RA schools for about the same cost and with a comparable level of difficulty--in fact, a lower amount of (academic) difficulty is actually an indictment.

    Folks, get real. Degrees from DETC-accredited schools are inferior to their RA counterparts. Also, for almost every DETC-accredited program, there is one or more RA options for the same cost. There are a few DETC-accredited schools offering a few programs that might fall outside of this paradigm, sure. But the rest of this is pure rationalization. Hey, do what you want, but don't B.S. it.
  13. ITJD

    ITJD Guest


    It depends on your race and your car.

    All cars are cars. They drive if they're in good repair and they'll get you from point A to point B. Most people know how to drive cars but they don't know how cars work.

    However, all the above being true, you need a race car to effectively race on a proper race track against other race cars. You'll get where you're going same as the people in the Corolla, but your roads are different and your peers are different.

    All degrees have value to someone. Ask yourself where you see yourself in X years and do the right thing with your path to ensure you're either racing or driving at your preferred speed.

    Nuff said.

    (Written by a guy who checks accreditation for schools that end up on resumes that come across his desk - ITT Tech has filled my recycle bin three times over the last 10 years; though it should be noted, until I busted my butt three times at RA schools I didn't care much about the difference.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  14. simon

    simon New Member

    Lerner, the bottomline is whether the DETC credential met your personal and professional needs and objectives and apparently it did. In fact there are many others who have benefited in their employment and professional lives from DETC degrees so it is not possible to conclude that RA is the only route to attain professional or occupational success because it just isn't so.
  15. simon

    simon New Member

    As previously noted each prospective student needs to make this assessment based on an exploration of the strengths and limitations of a DETC degree versus one from an RA school as well as an examination of their personal resources (ie, familial obligations, financial and time factors) and no generalities can be made as to what educational pathway is in the best interest of each individual in order to reach and attain their personal and professional goals.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  16. The key words have been highlighted above. What's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander and vice versa. The exact same argument could be made between college vs. no college.
  17. ITJD

    ITJD Guest

    The people who have DETC degrees or who work at DETC institutions and have a vested interest in their ego/self-esteem/worth or have a grudge against the elitist pig dogs that are in academia proper are going to defend DETC.

    We know this, it comes up monthly. Can we get back to reviewing the latest on the ABA, AACSB, ACBSP etc and the online law schools or talking about the new programs at schools where you can do anything with the degrees as opposed to schools that pretend to be accredited. Whatever anyone wants in the realm of real schools with reliable standards. (context: not DETC)

    Obviously my bias is reeking of sarcastic awesomeness at this time, but the argument that's being had is old, crusty and so last week's laundry.

    Anyhoo, feel free to ignore and add three to 9 more pages to the thread of accomplishing nothing worthwhile.
  18. Actually, this discussion reverted back to the same old, same old, but the original intent was something quite different. Maybe we can steer it back now:

    Rather than debating RA vs NA (which is like debating the size of pumpkins vs. apples), why don't we have some more people who, KNOWING the alternatives, chose DETC, and why? Just a suggestion :)
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Lerner - Simply restating your claim without adding any specifics does not really support your premise. In short, you've got nothing.
  20. blaterson

    blaterson New Member

    Actually I'm under the impression that it is working the other way with this thread. The elitists are pulling the wizard of oz don't look behind that curtain ploy. The thread and most replies seem bent on making the detc look bad.

    I've attended a b&m RA school (72 credits), taken just a few classes at other state uni's (ra), and am currently taking classes at a detc university (have completed 15 credits and am in a new semester). Let's face it, why don't we? Both schools use the exact same books, or kinds of books. Reading and writing assignments are not superior/inferior at either. The quizzes and tests that I take with each class have, quite honestly, been just as difficult with the detc school now as the ra school in the past. I will add that with doing my dl detc coursework that I've read much, much more and taken notes on my own -- and completed many more writing assignments -- more than I ever did at the RA 'level'.

    What are you going to tell us? That "ra" schools grade writing assignments with harsher standards? That dl RA schools design their courses better? Where is the real meat in this superiority / inferiority argument?

    The only real superiority I see in RA vs. detc is that when it comes to academia, people almost always resort to traditional, chip-on-the-shoulder mentality and every hoop they jumped through, or research at the university they attended is what made their schools famous. That seems to be where people base their opinions on superiority. It's not about the books I'm reading, the material I'm learning, the writing assignments I'm tasked with, or the tests I'm taking. I've even not-so-jokingly thought to myself that, boy, doing this dl (detc) coursework is really preparing me should I ever go back to b&m (ra) in the future regarding self-initiative, effort, and true absorption of material.
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