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Online Universities - any reputable?


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I think you'll find positive and negative about any school. Some people find it easier or harder. Some find it not what they wanted while others find it wonderful.

 

I have mixed feelings about my own which sounds about right to me. It is regionally accredited and the program I'm in is also nationally accredited. It's WGU.edu. The positives:

 

1) individualized attention: You have a mentor throughout your experience that you speak to every week or two as works best for you. Of course, you can also call, email, etc any other time if you need to. You have course mentors for each class. You have message boards, instant messengers, etc to speak to other classmates (and of course there are other boards, facebook, etc online also).

 

2) Price is pretty good. It's about $2980 per term. A term is 6 months regardless of the number of credits (12 minimum, but some terms you may be able to do 26 or 47 or whatever). Most materials (books, dvds, online resources, etc) are included in the price as are most tests (other than big ones like the Praxis II for teachers).

 

I searched out another time I started listing positives but see that I basically wrote those two in about 8 different reasons rather than two. Of course, one consideration is that there are four main areas of study with WGU so if that isn't your plan, then that can be problematic.

 

Anyway, hths,

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Thomas Edison State College is one of NJ's public colleges. It's regionally accredited and has some additional accreditions for specific programs (nursing and teaching). It's for adult, independent learners - I believe you have to be over 24 years old. You get credit through on-line courses, testing and portfolios.

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Liberty University is both b&m and has an online learning program too. They are the largest online Christian University in the World. I love it!! Not all of their programs can be done online but most can or they are blended of both online and in person, which is what my master's is. I am getting a master's in professional counseling and there are 3 classes I will have to take in person, which is fine with me.

 

I pay $425 per credit hour for master's level classes and I get a break each year I go off of that. My books have never been more than $300 per semester and that is taking 4 classes. Bachelor's level classes are $325 or $350, I'm not for sure which--it may have changed. You pay a $125 tech fee if you do online.

 

I am taking out student loans and will have a sizable chunk of money to pay back but with dh out of work most of the time I have been going to school we have needed the money just to live. I looked for an accredited Christian University with a good reputation and Liberty is all of this plus more.

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I agree about Liberty!! What an excellent university. My dh just finished his final paper to complete his bachelor's degree after being away from college for16 years!! We are thrilled and he's now considering a master's. He has been a very happy student, challenged, spiritually fed, and most of his professors were flexible, helpful and always offered to pray for some of our life circumstances that made deadlines occasionally difficult. It was a great experience. If they offered a degree I wanted, I'd go there myself to finish. :D

 

Of course, it's a Christian university and that may not be for everyone. :)

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I agree about Liberty!! What an excellent university. My dh just finished his final paper to complete his bachelor's degree after being away from college for16 years!! We are thrilled and he's now considering a master's. He has been a very happy student, challenged, spiritually fed, and most of his professors were flexible, helpful and always offered to pray for some of our life circumstances that made deadlines occasionally difficult. It was a great experience. If they offered a degree I wanted, I'd go there myself to finish. :D

 

Of course, it's a Christian university and that may not be for everyone. :)

 

This sounds good. I always thought private, Christian universities would be way more tuition than other universities. Have to check what mosaicmind wrote about tuition.

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I just finished my associates in business from Thomas Edison. I get a diploma in September (that's when graduation is although I won't be attending in NJ). My dad got his first degree from there back in the 70's. LSU (I live in Louisiana) recommends them on their website b/c they don't offer an online degree program just online classes.

 

I loved my experience there and most of my mentors (hey you can't love everyone right?). I would like to get an bachelors one day but right now my kids prefer the only schooling going on in my house centers on them!! haha :lol:

 

Overall TESC offers a great distance learning experience:D

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This sounds good. I always thought private, Christian universities would be way more tuition than other universities. Have to check what mosaicmind wrote about tuition.

 

I think you maybe able to get cheaper tuition somewhere else; I know some will give a flat tuition rate for say 12hrs but I wanted a Christian university for a counseling degree.

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I just finished my associates in business from Thomas Edison. I get a diploma in September (that's when graduation is although I won't be attending in NJ). My dad got his first degree from there back in the 70's. LSU (I live in Louisiana) recommends them on their website b/c they don't offer an online degree program just online classes.

 

I loved my experience there and most of my mentors (hey you can't love everyone right?). I would like to get an bachelors one day but right now my kids prefer the only schooling going on in my house centers on them!! haha :lol:

 

Overall TESC offers a great distance learning experience:D

 

I mentioned TESC but didn't mention I received an Associates in Biology (lots of transfer credits - lab courses can be hard online) and my Bachelors of Business Administration/Marketing from there.

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For any online university, experiences with accounting firms doing hiring both for themselves & for clients indicates that it falls in between nothing ("well, it's better than nothing...") and far below traditional university ("oh look - they went to a real college!"). I'm sure you can get a great education at one if you so choose (you could get a great education at a library, if you worked at it!!) - but just to point out that any online university is likely to be considered just "alright" when put on a resume...

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American Public University (sister school to American Military University) is a regionally accredited, all online university. I've been attending there for a little over a year. My classes are challenging and most certainly not academically inferior to your average brick and mortar state school.

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but just to point out that any online university is likely to be considered just "alright" when put on a resume...

 

That really depends on the school, the industry and the major. Not whether it was online or b&m.

Edited by CathieC
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I personally would never do one that isn't a "real" one.

 

I wouldn't go to one that isn't real either. But being online and regionally accredited is just as real as being a brick & mortar school that is regionally accredited.

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I think a good rule of thumb is that if there is a brick and mortar school associated with the online program and if the online degree is indistinguishable from the brick and mortar one, then it's worth looking into.

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I've taken some online classes through Northeastern University and thought they were well-done. Northeastern has a decent reputation in New England at least. My last employer wouldn't hire graduates of "diploma mills" like University of Phoenix but they did hire a lady who got her B.S. in Finance & Accounting from Northeastern online (she was the one who recommended I do my online classes there).

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I think a good rule of thumb is that if there is a brick and mortar school associated with the online program and if the online degree is indistinguishable from the brick and mortar one, then it's worth looking into.

 

Strongly disagree. There are good, reputable, solely online, regionally accredited universities. Two that pop out in my mind are American Public University and Capella. Neither are associated with b&m schools but have excellent reputations and great job placement histories for their graduates. The research I put in to finding a school most certainly considered all factors, and APU outshines MANY online programs associated with brick & mortar schools.

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My last employer wouldn't hire graduates of "diploma mills" like University of Phoenix but they did hire a lady who got her B.S. in Finance & Accounting from Northeastern online (she was the one who recommended I do my online classes there).

 

University of Phoenix doesn't have a great reputation, which is why it came quickly off of my list when I was researching schools. Just remember though, just because it is solely online, does not make it a diploma mill.

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Strongly disagree. There are good, reputable, solely online, regionally accredited universities. Two that pop out in my mind are American Public University and Capella. Neither are associated with b&m schools but have excellent reputations and great job placement histories for their graduates. The research I put in to finding a school most certainly considered all factors, and APU outshines MANY online programs associated with brick & mortar schools.

 

Many employers, fairly or unfairly, lump all online-only schools in with the "diploma mills". I don't know anything about APU or Capella but I do know that my most recent employer wouldn't have hired their graduates. I was a manager and while I never directly hired anyone, I did sit in on a number of hiring discussions with fellow managers. For positions requiring a bachelor's degree, graduates of online-only schools got automatically put in the reject pile.

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Strongly disagree. There are good, reputable, solely online, regionally accredited universities. Two that pop out in my mind are American Public University and Capella. Neither are associated with b&m schools but have excellent reputations and great job placement histories for their graduates. The research I put in to finding a school most certainly considered all factors, and APU outshines MANY online programs associated with brick & mortar schools.

 

I don't know anything about APU, but Capella does NOT have a good reputation for their Psych Doctoral program. In fact, I've never heard of someone with an online Doctorate who can get licensed by their state licensing board.

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but Capella does NOT have a good reputation for their Psych Doctoral program. In fact, I've never heard of someone with an online Doctorate who can get licensed by their state licensing board.

 

DH is not in a doctoral program. He's in a masters program. His company would not pay for a colleague to go to Penn. State as Capella is significantly better in their field. Again, it depends on the field, not the fact that it is online.

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Strongly disagree. There are good, reputable, solely online, regionally accredited universities. Two that pop out in my mind are American Public University and Capella. Neither are associated with b&m schools but have excellent reputations and great job placement histories for their graduates. The research I put in to finding a school most certainly considered all factors, and APU outshines MANY online programs associated with brick & mortar schools.

 

I'm sure there may be good online-only schools out there. However, most people think online degrees are a joke (not without reason, I might add) and I was giving the OP a suggestion for a way to get around the stigma.

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Many employers, fairly or unfairly, lump all online-only schools in with the "diploma mills". I don't know anything about APU or Capella but I do know that my most recent employer wouldn't have hired their graduates. I was a manager and while I never directly hired anyone, I did sit in on a number of hiring discussions with fellow managers. For positions requiring a bachelor's degree, graduates of online-only schools got automatically put in the reject pile.

 

This is really not meant to be snarky. I'm very frustrated right now at the ignorance over not all online schools being diploma mills. Not all employers are ignorant as your employer, thank goodness. Many people associate all public schools as being bad (not true) and all homeschools as being good (not true). And vice-versa. We need to be careful with our generalizations. You can choose to help correct misconceptions or continue to breed them. I choose to try correct misconceptions.

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I'm sure there may be good online-only schools out there. However, most people think online degrees are a joke (not without reason, I might add) and I was giving the OP a suggestion for a way to get around the stigma.

 

Again, generalizing. Look at your wording "not without reason", making it look like they are all a joke. I know many people who have graduated from brick and mortar schools that did not get as good of an education as you can get at reputable online schools.

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You cannot make a blanket statement about all online programs. There are some that are GREAT and some that are not worth the paper with which the diploma is printed on. Liberty is a brick and mortar and has an online program. My bachelor's degree does not disquish on my transcript or on my diploma that I completed my degree online and neither will my master's degree.

 

You need to do your research. What is their placement rate for jobs in your degree specialization? What is their reputation? How do the courses taken online compare to classes taken on a traditional b&m school.

 

But, I disagree that all online programs are diploma mills, that just is not true. It is a well known fact that the course work I am completing for my master's degree is more rigorous than some well-known b&m schools. For me the professors demand more of their online students because we aren't meeting in class everyday.

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You cannot make a blanket statement about all online programs. There are some that are GREAT and some that are not worth the paper with which the diploma is printed on. .......

 

You need to do your research. What is their placement rate for jobs in your degree specialization? What is their reputation? How do the courses taken online compare to classes taken on a traditional b&m school.

 

But, I disagree that all online programs are diploma mills, that just is not true. It is a well known fact that the course work I am completing for my master's degree is more rigorous than some well-known b&m schools. For me the professors demand more of their online students because we aren't meeting in class everyday.

 

:iagree:Thank you... I feel like I'm hitting a brick wall :banghead: tonight with the ignorance of online schools not being diploma mills. Unfortunately, the more people who say this, the more people will erroneously believe it. I probably need to walk away from the computer before I get more upset!

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Again, generalizing. Look at your wording "not without reason", making it look like they are all a joke.

 

It's not generalizing. There are *a lot* of online schools out there that are a joke. Unfortunately, employers and others in a position to make a judgement about a person's degree are going to be making generalizations about things like this.

 

I know many people who have graduated from brick and mortar schools that did not get as good of an education as you can get at reputable online schools.

 

You're right.

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This is really not meant to be snarky. I'm very frustrated right now at the ignorance over not all online schools being diploma mills. Not all employers are ignorant as your employer, thank goodness. Many people associate all public schools as being bad (not true) and all homeschools as being good (not true). And vice-versa. We need to be careful with our generalizations. You can choose to help correct misconceptions or continue to breed them. I choose to try correct misconceptions.

 

I agree, but when employers get many more applicants for an opening than they can interview, they can afford to be picky. The OP needs to be aware that getting her degree from an affiliate of a B&M school vs. an online-only one could be the difference between making it through the initial screening or not. It may not be fair, but a lot of life is like that.

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I agree, but when employers get many more applicants for an opening than they can interview, they can afford to be picky. The OP needs to be aware that getting her degree from an affiliate of a B&M school vs. an online-only one could be the difference between making it through the initial screening or not. It may not be fair, but a lot of life is like that.

 

True. But a good applicant will also have an internship or two, along with the degree. I think the internships are probably more important, especially if there is no other relevant work history, in today's world.

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I agree, but when employers get many more applicants for an opening than they can interview, they can afford to be picky. The OP needs to be aware that getting her degree from an affiliate of a B&M school vs. an online-only one could be the difference between making it through the initial screening or not. It may not be fair, but a lot of life is like that.

 

:iagree:

 

This is what I meant as well. I am sure that there are many high-quality online schools that give a superb education. That was not, however, what I was referring to in my post. If you list an online school on your resume and do not have good, solid, job-related reasons ASIDE FROM the online school you went to, you are likely to be relegated to the side-pile. Fair or not, most employers use such broad generalizations in their employee selections.

 

I recently did the prelim resume checking myself for a client looking for a bookkeeper and we received some 200 resumes for the job!! I ended up tossing to the side anything that didn't say something related to bookkeeping and Quickbooks at the very start (since those were two things we specifically referred to in the ad as wanting - people should always change their resumes to reflect the ad!!). Then I went back through the still-large stack and set aside anything not mentioning inventory (another specific ad item). I can easily see someone concerned about college education quickly setting aside anything with an online school, just to help in making the pile manageable (although I'm sure that wouldn't be ALL they would look at!). I was only allowed to give the client 5 or 6 people to choose from, after all!

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Many employers, fairly or unfairly, lump all online-only schools in with the "diploma mills". I don't know anything about APU or Capella but I do know that my most recent employer wouldn't have hired their graduates. I was a manager and while I never directly hired anyone, I did sit in on a number of hiring discussions with fellow managers. For positions requiring a bachelor's degree, graduates of online-only schools got automatically put in the reject pile.

 

:iagree:

 

In our (real life) experience, online diplomas work well for people who are already experienced with years on the job, but just need the diploma (need the piece of paper to advance).

 

Any new hires will be rejected in our circle of employers if they solely have an online diploma (assuming they were going for a "needs degree" job).

 

People might not care for the stereotyping, but it's 100% real in my experience. Other places might differ.

 

I like how someone else put it in a different thread when they compared it to Coke or Pepsi. If you send someone into a store to buy soda and the store brand is the same price as the name brand, the consumer will buy the name brand every time.

 

In hiring, when looking at new grads, assuming there are no other "hooks," the name on the diploma matters. Once one has years of experience, it doesn't.

 

I should add that NOT all b&m schools are considered equal either. One wants a school with a good rep in their area and for their major.

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I agree, but when employers get many more applicants for an opening than they can interview, they can afford to be picky. The OP needs to be aware that getting her degree from an affiliate of a B&M school vs. an online-only one could be the difference between making it through the initial screening or not. It may not be fair, but a lot of life is like that.

 

:iagree:

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I agree, but when employers get many more applicants for an opening than they can interview, they can afford to be picky. The OP needs to be aware that getting her degree from an affiliate of a B&M school vs. an online-only one could be the difference between making it through the initial screening or not. It may not be fair, but a lot of life is like that.

 

Yes--as a person who was responsible for hiring many people, I experienced having to make the first cut. And it was brutal. I would get literally *hundreds* of resumes for one position and I had to make decisions based on what was on that piece of paper. Handwritten? Out. Spelling mistake? Out. Poor grammar? Out. Lots of jobs lasting less than one year? Out. Time to bachelor's degree greater than five years? Out. Online degrees didn't exist back when I was doing this, and I never made any cut based on where a person went to school, but I could easily see an employer faced with hundreds of applications doing so.

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My husband just started at Western Governor's University (Business Management major). One of the reasons he picked it is that is has a great reputation. I seriously doubt his degree will hinder his job search.

 

Another advantage is financial. Not only is it inexpensive, but I think that it's the only online-only school approved for federal Pell grants. Also, Washington and Indiana residents can get state financial aid.

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My husband just started at Western Governor's University (Business Management major). One of the reasons he picked it is that is has a great reputation. I seriously doubt his degree will hinder his job search.

 

Another advantage is financial. Not only is it inexpensive, but I think that it's the only online-only school approved for federal Pell grants. Also, Washington and Indiana residents can get state financial aid.

 

You can get Pell grants at American Public University/American Military University. They are completely online. Western Governor's actually made my short list when I was choosing schools.

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I would look directly at state public universities first. Many of them have online programs. Then I would research programs of interest, talking to/checking the experience and publications of professors who teach there. Then talk to students taking the program if you can. Even in good programs there can be teachers who don't understand how to teach effectively in this medium.

 

After seeing what my sister has been through with online-only universities, I could not in good conscience recommend an institution with a professional reputation that spans less than 10-15 years. I'm not saying that these institutions are bad, but they don't have as much to lose. There's much less keeping them in line when profit is the bottom line, not publishing and research prestige.

 

I'm sorry to those whom this offends, but it is the voice experience. Not everyone's experience is going to be the same.

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After seeing what my sister has been through with online-only universities, I could not in good conscience recommend an institution with a professional reputation that spans less than 10-15 years. I'm not saying that these institutions are bad, but they don't have as much to lose. There's much less keeping them in line when profit is the bottom line, not publishing and research prestige.

 

I'm sorry to those whom this offends, but it is the voice experience. Not everyone's experience is going to be the same.

 

Not offended but everyone's voice of experience is different. No one's more valid than another one's. I wouldn't consider a school that is less than 10-15 years old either. Nor would I consider one that does not have regional accreditation. Nor would I consider one that does not have published professors. Having a nationally recognized Honors society (Golden Key) was important to me too. However, not all online universities fall in to those categories. American Public is a branch of the American Public University System, starting out as American Military, prior to online learning, as a correspondence college for the military. Reputable but no brick & mortar component (well, they do have a library and administrative offices in West Virginia and Virginia, but most people use the online library).

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FWIW, I go to APU as well... I have 3 classes left, and I chose it after doing quite a bit of research (there is absolutely no way I would have been able to go to a B&M school right now.

 

I have done 3 1/2 years at Univ. of North Texas and have an Assoc. degree from George Washington Univ., and these classes are much more rigorous than any I have taken before (perhaps its the format - but my profs. absolutely expect a deeper understanding of the material from us in these classes) (I'm and English major). Plus I have had only two profs. with less than a Doctorate - one taught journalism ( he had over 15 years with the Washington Post and over 10 years of teaching experience), and the other was creative writing (she had an MFA from a wonderful school and has been published all over the place).

 

Many of my classmates have gone on to great Masters programs at B&M schools, so I know I haven't wasted my time - and for my purposes, this place fulfills my needs...

 

Would I recommend the school to everyone? No. I'm not sure that I would go here for certain programs, but for things like Military History, Intelligence Studies, Homeland Security, and Disaster Management, it is one of the premiere institutions around... Really, where you go totally depends on your needs, the program, and what your future employer is looking for.

 

I would just do my research (both of the schools and of the people who are hiring in your field).

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Just finished my master's online through Piedmont Baptist College which has a B&M in NC. The experience was wonderful and very rigorous. Both the director of the school where I work and the HS principal have degrees they earned online. My friend is a principal in Michigan and she earned her doctorate online and had no problems getting a job.

 

I think online may have scared employers in the past but it will not continue to be that way. Our school and many others now REQUIRE students to complete at least one class online in order to graduate as part of the new 21st century digital mindset. And in another 5 years it will be so common that no one will think twice. I personally know at least 20 people IRL who have either completed a degree online or are currently working on one.

 

In fact, I find it interesting that homeschoolers whose kids do not attend B&M schools and frequently take online classes would think less of those who take this route for college as well.

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American Public University (sister school to American Military University) is a regionally accredited, all online university. I've been attending there for a little over a year. My classes are challenging and most certainly not academically inferior to your average brick and mortar state school.

 

I have been "going to" AMU for years now... slowly, but surely ;) I'm now a "Junior" and these classes are HARD!! They are a LOT harder than the stuff I had to do my freshman year at Georgia State! I'm majoring in Intelligence Studies with a concentration is Asian Studies... I just finished up Military Warfare from Antiquity to 1700, MW from 1700 to the Present, and Tactical Intelligence... now I'm taking "The US Intelligence Community" and "Foreign Intelligence Organizations". I am learning SO MUCH!! It's information overload, but I am retaining it :)

 

I was in the Army, but you don't have to be military or veteran to join, however, a lot of the majors are good for federal govt. jobs. I wanna go back into Intelligence, and do what I did in the Army (Chinese linguist), that is, IF I ever go back to work ;) So AMU is perfect for me and I HIGHLY recommend it.

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