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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:59 PM

 

NY Times: Online colleges = a sham

The New York Times’ lead editorial on February 19 was a slashing critique of online colleges. The editorial ripped apart the hype and spin about these colleges.

Their attrition rates are 90%. And, “courses delivered solely online may be fine for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but they are inappropriate for struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment and who need close contact with instructors to succeed.”

Furthermore, research shows the high failure rates at these cyber-institutions:

“The research has shown over and over again that community college students who enroll in online courses are significantly more likely to fail or withdraw than those in traditional classes, which means that they spend hard-earned tuition dollars and get nothing in return. Worse still, low-performing students who may be just barely hanging on in traditional classes tend to fall even further behind in online courses.”

If the online colleges are such a bad deal for adults, think how awful cyber-charters are for children. Children need human contact, not just bells and whistles or a disembodied voice.

http://dianeravitch.net/2013/02/21/ny-times-online-colleges-are-a-sham/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/opinion/the-trouble-with-online-college.html?_r=0


Here's another point: with so many students taking out loans for college, online colleges are a perfect set-up for fraud a/o leaving gullible/non-traditional/poor students with lots of debt and nothing to show for it.

and in our current society, having lots of debt = poorer job prospects, trouble renting housing, higher insurance rates...

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:07 PM

1. Online courses are harder, require more dedication, and are suited for "highly skilled" people

Last edited Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:24 PM - Edit history (1)

That's what I took from the parts you posted. I don't see how that makes it a sham.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:09 PM

2. My daughter just earned her master's degree from an online college,

and it was not a sham. It was highly accredited. She got a government grant for this college.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:21 PM

3. Did John Broder write this? eom

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:22 PM

4. people who take those classes are probably the types who don't have much time

to attend a regular class . and for same reason may not have time to keep up even with the online class.

i think the issue is type of person and their life situation .

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:29 PM

5. I wonder if it makes a difference . . .

If the program in question is one of the purely online ones like University of Phoenix, or one directly connected to a real college? Lots of colleges have them now. And certain types of programs and courses lend themselves better to online learning than others too.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:33 PM

6. I took a Web Design course from the Arts Institute of Pittsburgh

I completed a year but haven't gone back because right now, I don't have the time to complete the last year.
I was also up late at night trying to complete homework and it ended up hurting my health.

If I didn't have to work 40 hrs/week, the online course was great. But I'm 51 and it was just too much.
However, I did learn new things, but found the program was more suited for graphic artists than computer programmers, which is what I am. I was hoping to learn new web programming languages, like Php and Java. However, I did learn how to use Photoshop and Illustrator. That was cool!

My view of online colleges is that they are best suited for motivated people who have already had some regular college experience and have the time to complete the homework assignments. I hold a BA that I earned from Notre Dame in 1983. Attending college is the best thing. Online colleges are good if you can't find the courses near your home. Personally, I prefer in-person, teacher-led classes but even with those, my current work schedule would not give me the time to attend class and complete the homework assignments.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:57 PM

7. one has to take into account...

that most online students who succeed are most likely adults who are returning to school or completing courses for professional advancement. Personally, I think it would be a difficult format for younger students, who need college as much for the social structure as the routine of class times, etc...

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:59 PM

8. And, they get a huge amount of US taxpayers' money

Because of the GI Bill.

NC state colleges don't accept credits from any of these places, and NC public employees cannot have a degree from any of them to meet job degree requirements.

The latter is huge, because so many active and retired military are in NC.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:01 PM

9. online colleges/universities have the highest default rates on student loans, by large margins.

 

to go with their low completion rates.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:47 PM

11. It used to be that if a college's default rate rose above a very conservative percentage, they were

 

disqualified from the government grant and guaranteed loans programs and their accreditation was withdrawn. It seems that too has changed since I was in school.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:49 PM

12. fraud is the new business model

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:11 PM

10. I could say the same thing about a lot of "real" higher education

Much of it doesn't lead to anything but a really pretty piece of paper, that costs students and taxpayers a bundle.

What's scammy about online colleges is that they charge way too much for glorified TV. I can get some pretty decent education from PBS for free with an antenna.

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