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DeVry, Unversity of Phoenix, ITT Tech Vs traditional (real) colleges

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pstokely Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 12:46 AM
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DeVry, Unversity of Phoenix, ITT Tech Vs traditional (real) colleges
Any these for profit colleges anything more then degree mills? Any DeVry, Unversity of Phoenix, or ITT Tech alums here?
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 12:51 AM
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1. Units from those schools generally aren't transferable, nor will they permit units brought in
So if you're going to do one of those, you really have to be able to finish your degree in one go.

Community college is a million times cheaper here (it's $20/unit, and financial aid is easy to get, so most students wind up getting paid to go to school) but we still have a ton of trade schools. :shrug:
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 08:14 AM
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2. Depends on what you are looking for
I went to a computer tech school that is now defunct when I wanted to change careers. I had already gone to the UofMD but wanted a quick way to learn programming. Went for a 7 month certificate program and got my first tech job through them. That was 12 years ago.
If this is your first shot at higher ed I would look at a community college first.
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Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-14-08 09:42 AM
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3. I've attended distance education. Got a lot out of it, too.
Edited on Mon Jan-14-08 10:30 AM by Akoto
I originally attended distance education due to health problems. Though the decision was for lack of a better option, it worked well for me. Many people simply won't give it a chance, but in reality, there are online schools which are very much legit and worth your while. To some extent, I think certain degrees from these schools are worth more than others. Largely information-based careers (like mine) seem to have fewer problems than hands-on careers, where you're actually expected to build and tweak things.

Many brick and mortar colleges/universities are now offering online divisions where you can earn most or all of your degree over the internet. I'm talking about state universities, even.

If you're looking at a private (for profit) online college, some important things to consider:

1. Accreditation is very important, as it's one of the biggest factors in your degree being accepted by employers. Check the school out on CHEA.org. Be certain that its accrediting agency is recognized by the Secretary of Education. Generally, you can feel safe about regional accreditation agencies. Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, etc. There's a full list of recognized ones on Wikipedia. Online schools don't receive this sort of accreditation by handing you a diploma in exchange for cash. These regional agencies are the same ones which accredit traditional schools, and their reputations rely upon certain educational standards being upheld. Fail to do that and you quickly lose their support.

2. Take your time to check out the school. I particularly like to prod them with questions by email and phone, just to see how quickly they reply and whether their responses are at all personalized. It makes me feel better to know that they're actually there. If you get the feeling that they're being intentionally vague with you, then you might want to give it some additional thought.

3. Check them out on Google. Well-established online schools will usually have lots of posts out there about them, and some students might even blog on their experiences. A student's blog on elearners.com was what eventually convinced me to enroll with Penn Foster (and the course has been very rigorous, by the way).

4. Realize that it's harder than it sounds. Being able to do your classes when you want is great, but it's a double-edged sword. There have been days when I've found it hard to concentrate or to really focus on my work.

5. Also realize that, on the whole, this is still a 'new' and non-mainstream form of education. It's rapidly becoming more popular, as you can see from inroads both community and traditional colleges are making into the online format. That said, some employers will remain skeptical and you may face difficulties with those folks as a result.

6. As someone pointed out above, there are cases where schools will not allow you to transfer credits from a distance learning course to a brick and mortar one. Be sure to check with BOTH ends, the online school and the physical one, to make sure this can be done.

7. 'Diploma mill' is a term which is sometimes used a bit too freely. Actual mills simply sell you a degree with little or no academic work involved. Get a list of the courses involved in the degree you want and, most importantly, ask lots of questions.
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