Online college

Discussion in 'The Refreshment Lounge' started by Squared_Away, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Squared_Away

    Squared_Away Registered User

    I'm prior military and I want to go back to college. Anyone have any suggestions for online colleges. I heard university of Phoenix isn't that great.

    ~Open Minded~
  2. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    I think they are all primarily "degree mills." If you'd like to study online, I'd go through a local college. They usually have a number of online classes.
  3. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

    Many colleges and universities have online "colleges" under different names. Check closely for the affiliations if any.
    A couple of reputable ones are TAMU online(Texas A&M) and University of Maryland University College (University of Maryland).
  4. Squared_Away

    Squared_Away Registered User

    Thanks for the replies.

    ~Open Minded~
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    The grand-daddy of non-resident colleges serving the military is University of Maryland. In the last decade the most popular one has become Excelsior of the State University of New York (my alma mater). I actually did all of my coursework residential not correspondence. What I did was assemble my courses from more than one college to earn my degree by transfer.

    Start with CLEP tests. You'll be able to get much of the way to an AA/AS degree. Then check out correspondence courses from the ones listed in this thread. By combining courses from more than one you'll be able to get to a BA/BS degree.

    University of Phoenix is fully accredited so it's fine. One daughter has her BS through them. Another fully accredited one is American International Online. My wife has a second Bachelors through them.

    Once you decide you want to do a degree program on line, expect it to be as much work as going there in person. Check the accreditation of the college very carefully. It needs to be through the same organization as the local state colleges in its home geography.

    Next look at the courses in the program and the pricing. Different colleges have significantly different programs and often significantly different prices. Below some price point it becomes likely their claimed accreditation isn't as good as they claim. Some colleges make up their own accrediting body.

    Accreditation among colleges is sorta like regularity among GLs.
  6. Squared_Away

    Squared_Away Registered User

    I have looked into it. Thank you sir.

    ~Open Minded~
  7. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

    University of Phoenix has a very bad reputation in my field (sciences). Look at the individual programs carefully, since they are pretty much independent of each other. One reliable rule of thumb is to find a proper public university or an on-line presence of a real brick-and-mortar university that is actually run by that university and is not the major occupation of that university (some degree mills have a giant online presence and tiny real-world presence). Likewise, avoid any and all nationally-accredited university and college degree programs. When it comes to higher education, it is the regional accrediting bodies that are reliable. The national bodies were set up by the degree mills, themselves. There are only 5 regional organizations:
  8. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    Yet they are fine for business, management and some other programs. In my field of IT, not so much as they are in science.

    It is hard to leave the nest of the brick and mortar without losing the foundation, but it is possible. U of Phoenix is not the only counter-example. What matters is the regional accreditation and the reputation of the individual program.

    The key is the regional accreditation. That's the foundation. If there's no regional accreditation other colleges and most employers will treat the degree as if it is from a degree mill. It's not that you should avoid national accreditation programs it's that you should avoid any place that lacks regional accreditation.

    In fact there are several national accreditation programs that are of value it's just that in every single case they are *in addition* to regional accreditation never *instead of* regional accreditation. The AMA accredits medical programs. The ABA accredits law programs. The ABET accredits engineering programs, and so on. There are a bunch of valuable national ones once you know that they exclusively supplement regional accreditation.

    There exist state accrediting boards in some states. Get a degree in such a program and it's worthless outside of that state. Inside that state it never compares regional accreditation. If your goal is a trade license these might be good enough. Might. Maybe. A real AA/AS always beats them. Some path like trade school to Practical nurse, AS at community college to LVN, BS at university to RN ...
  9. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

    Yeah, I've heard that "U of Flaming Chicken" isn't half bad for MBAs.
  10. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    I currently attend Western Governors University (WGU) where I'm finishing up my bachelors.

    It's a great college and tuition is very affordable. (2-3k a semester)
  11. mkmulin

    mkmulin Site Benefactor

    As stated in previous post look towards regional accreditation. I will say that some of these online schools have the same accreditation as some of the big name universities in regards to their locations. As for comparing of traditional brick and mortar and online...when you graduate from the online program the diploma isn't going to say "BS Basket-weaving Online" and the brick and mortar diploma will not say "BS Basket-weaving B&M"; it will be the same if the school offers online and traditional. Look at the program you want to do and see if the program is accredited. i.e. A nursing program should be accredited by NLNAC or CCNE. Even if the degree program isn't accredited it doesn't mean the degree is junk. From my research I have found accredited programs to have more classes and cost more. I was hesitant about online but made the transition. I enjoy it and have noticed, since I started way back in the days, that the online classes are harder than the traditional. I'm in an all online program through Texas Tech Univ HSC. After I finish next year I'm looking at online Master's Degree programs from UNC Chapel Hill, LSU, and Seton Hall; so if someone states that online degrees are crap tell them to look at some of the big schools that have programs. It just makes sense to offer online options. The school can attract more students (more money) and people are busy, who has time to sit in school all day. It is very convenient. Besides I can do my school work and watch Disney or Disney Jr with my kids all day long because I know I got HD cable for two channels!

    You stated you were prior military...if you opt for an online program and you have the Post 9/11, make sure you and the school are in the same state; you get in-state tuition rate. I'm taking three online classes thru TTUHSC and one in house class through a community college in Sumter, SC ( I retired from AF in August and will move back to TX after the semester). The community college charged me non resident because I was no longer military. Post 9/11 only pays for the highest IN-STATE rate. I had to come out of pocket for the difference for the class in SC. Only couple hundred but I didn't complain since the majority was paid for.

    Long post but I hope it gives some insight. Best wishes on your endeavors!

    Bro McMullen

    My Freemasonry
  12. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    Your military background can play a role. I got my bachelors through Excelsior College because they had no residency requirement (minimum number of hours required to be taken with them) and they took credits from other institutions. After my Navy experience and two-ish years at a community college, I enrolled in a capstone course for my Excelsior degree and that was all she wrote.

    I don't necessarily think their courses were the best (part of the reason I only enrolled in two through Excelsior) but the degree is ABET-accredited.

    What's your end goal with the degree?

    Sent via mobile app (Freemason Connect HD)
  13. rotta.olavo

    rotta.olavo Registered User

    Brothers, I'm looking for an opportunity outside my country with I.T. and related..Do you all know something to tell me? I already thought about New Zealand, And I'm quite sure about moving to there but, if anyone of you knows about any other option, please tell me.

    And if there's someone there from New Zealand, I'd be glad to keep in touch.


  14. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

    Members of my family who went through the military had great success with the University of Maryland system. On is now a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve and the other, after reaching the rank of Chief in the U.S. Navy, now works in sports publicity. Both studied on line at UM during their years of military service.
  15. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

    i was going to go with University of Houston for my online MBA. one of the branches, anyway.

    the for profit online (and even offline - I'm looking at you DeVry, ITT Tech, etc) colleges are a bad idea in general. lots of times those don't even count towards an accredited degree.
  16. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

  17. Bro. Kenneth Brown

    Bro. Kenneth Brown Premium Member

    I attend Kaplan University it is pretty good.

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