Should I Go Back to School?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Rex, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    All of my classes right now are half-terms, and I hate most of them. The workload in one class in particular drives the students to tears and most of them would really benefit from more time. So would I.

    But there are people for whom these courses are blessings. It just depends on what you are aiming for and how dedicated you are to doing it.

    My experience with CMU students is that most of them end up having to take some time off because they can't deal with the incessant pace. But even with that, most of them graduate early.
  2. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    My undergrad program at Cabrini was accelerated. One Saturday for almost two years. 9am to 1pm. And you had to really stay caught up on the reading and homework because of the pace.
  3. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    I'm so used to an accelerated course schedule, that when I took a traditionally paced course, I had to be very careful not to drift/get lost. I was so used to having to work constantly, that having that same work spread out was, at first, dangerous - I feared I'd lose my place, forget to do stuff.

    You get used to the fast schedule. I actually prefer it. But it is one heck of a lot of work.
  4. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Seriously. And I was also living with my invalid grandmother at the time, and was helping to take care of her, and that cuts into study time. I found it easier to go to the campus library after classes and just stay there until 6 or so, just to stay caught up. God forbid if you should be sick and miss a class...
  5. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    Only if you're mature. I know plenty of 20 somethings who sign up for intensives and skip at least 50% of the classes. Strangely, they seem to get Bs anyway.
  6. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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  7. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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  8. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    It sounds as if your CMU students are in a cohort program. In a cohort program, all the students start during the same semester or term; take all of the same classes and progress through the program as a group.

  9. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Naturally most of what I know about CMU concerns the marching band and the music program :p But those are both pretty good, which is always a good sign to me. And I know several people who went there and are very happy.
  10. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Just when I thought I had it narrowed down to one, my ESO found two universities that not only offer MBA programs online, but offer 90-100% financial coverage for with the TA program for veterans; Brenau Univerisity and Liberty University, the latter a "Christian" college. I could get full coverage without paying a dime, and my "payback" time to the federal gov't starts when I start class. So by the time I finish, I'd only be obligated to them for a few months at the most. But I think I'd like to stay with the government. Both schools have regional accreditation.

    American Military University was my final choice, but they are $325 per credit, or $975 per semester.

    Colorado Technical University called me this morning and they are very aggressive in their pursuit of grad students and have a couple of MBA programs I'm very interested in, but at almost $1800 per semester, so not doable. The Coast Guard's limit is $750 per semester. My goal is to have a final decision by summer so I can start in the fall. Most of these do allow you to start when you are ready, but I want a last hurrah before I buckle down.
  11. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Liberty University is the school founded by Jerry Falwell.
    Would you be comfortable with a degree from there?
  12. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Shit, that is the one that the Coast Guard can cover 100%.
  13. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Well-Known Member

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    I don't care if they actually paid me. I don't want anything to do with that school.
  14. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    I have to at least consider it. But the ESO has more schools for me to look at. Nothing is final yet.
  15. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Rex, I think a lot of potential employers would have this same reaction upon seeing Liberty University on your resume. Potential employers could make assumptions about you that you don't want them to make.
  16. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    I love those accelerated schedules. I prefer focusig intensively on one or two classes than spreading my attention between more classes throughout a longer period of time. I have a short attention span. Short and intensive works
  17. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    You need to be comfortable with people knowing you went to Liberty U, and of its association with Falwell. If you are not, then you really shouldn't go there.

    You seem to be having problems finding programs that suit you. To increase your choices, this is a list of MBA programs that offer distance learning degrees. Some are schools we've said you should avoid (Keller, U of Phoenix, etc.) But others are of good quality:
    http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/
  18. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    I see MTU is on that list - cool. I have been looking at that one as well; IIRC, they have a veterans' discount.
  19. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Too bad - they have a nice figure skating Club program.
    http://www.liberty.edu/campusrec/clubsports/index.cfm?PID=21588

    I second the accelerated programs for master's degrees. You have to be committed and organized, but the shorter elapsed time is so much easier. It lets you get on with your life sooner, even though it's hard work during the period.

    Make sure to ask about getting waivers for requirements that are related to your undergraduate study or work experience. Every course you have get waived moves you closer to the finish line while saving time and money.

    How long ago did you finish your bachelor's degree? Most masters programs won't waive courses after five years or so.
  20. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    ^^^About seven years ago, I'm afraid. Oh, well.
  21. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Bump.
    First day of online classes today @ Chancellor University....clearly, Mondays will be a busy day for me. Classes in Admin Management and State, Local and Fed Gov't basics. First assignments for BOTH classes are due Wednesday. Two more assignments due NLT Friday 1159pm. They don't accept late work either. I can do it at work tomorrow and e-mail it in.

    No more E! Channel for a while I guess :drama:.
    sweetsparky and (deleted member) like this.
  22. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Good luck, Rex!!
  23. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

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    Good luck, Rex!!! You can do it!!
  24. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    Is your program strictly an online one? If yes, does your enrollment in the program make you eligible to use any of their subscription databases and password protected online information sources? These can be very helpful to you if any of your assignments require that you look up articles or do any serious number crunching.
  25. Cupid

    Cupid New Member

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    Good luck, Rex! Study hard and don't ever give up. A friend of mine went back to school recently and she's crazy busy working one full time job and another part time plus taking all these classes, but it's a goal she's determined to accomplish and she's cut back on socializing and really studying hard and doing well. You can do it, too!
  26. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Civic, it's totally online. They use a system called "ANGEL" and you access your course syllabus and class modules through this program. So glad that I can access it at work.

    Thanks for the support guys...I can use it. When it slows down at work this afternoon, I will get some of my assignments done.
  27. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    If ANGEL starts making you crazy, let me know. I'm supposed to be an ANGEL expert and have a zillion certificates to prove it (and STILL I get stumped from time to time).

    It actually works really well nearly all the time, but I, at least, run into a lot of browser conflict issues.
  28. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    I do as well. I've found it works fairly well with Firefox, and not so well with Safari. I haven't tried IE.
  29. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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  30. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Thinking of you, Rex.
    Keep us posted.
  31. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    It works on Google Chrome even - I am impressed. So far no real problems, other than having to constantly put the forum in "nesting" format so I respond to my instructors' posts.
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  32. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

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    Good luck! I just started working on my Masters this semester, online, and it has been a challenge. I don't remember working this hard doing undergrad, and it's only been a couple of years!

    But we'll persevere!!! :D
  33. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    It's designed to work with Firefox and IE, although ANGEL does customize the program for different schools. Until just the last few weeks, our version did not work with IE9, but it seems to be working nearly all the time now.

    The one thing that usually doesn't work with Google Chrome is the course mail address box. You can respond to emails, but you usually can't access names to send emails yourself. If yours does work, your school must have gotten a custom fix, because that's a known issue in ANGEL.

    Online classes are nearly always harder, if for no other reason than you are so much on your own.
  34. Stefanie

    Stefanie Well-Known Member

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    Just want to chime in with my well wishes for Rex. :)
  35. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

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    Yay Rex!!!!!!
  36. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

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    That's what's so scary. I took some online classes undergrad. This is much harder. I have to be much more disciplined to get my work done on time. Of course, spending my free time lurking here when I should be making wise use of my time doesn't help anything! :slinkaway
  37. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Can you describe what online class is like? I thought about taking some but don't think I'll have the discipline not to surf the web while class is in session :shuffle:

    But you're not going to miss the A-List when it's back on, will you ? ;)


    Good luck with your classes.
  38. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    What online class is like varies from university to university, and can even vary from professor to professor. The ones I teach are accelerated, so you do a 15-week semester in only five weeks. That means they are INTENSE. You do the same amount of work in less time. I make them work their butts off. Each week in my class, there are normally at least three chapters to read, one 1,500 word paper, two tiny responses to specific topics (think a paragraph), one team assignment, and several posts you must make in response to those of other students.

    Conversely, I've taken online classes where my main problem has been boredom, and where there's been such little work, at such a slow pace, that I've been afraid I might fail because I forgot to do something due to the slow pace. :lol:

    So it really varies. The nice thing is that in most cases, online classes are asynchronous, meaning that you can be on there and doing your work at any hour. You don't have to be on there when the professor is on there. But again, this can vary by university, so these types of things are reasonable things to ask about.

    Some online classes are text-only. Others are a combo of text and video. Some have no exams. Others have exams you can take on your own. Still others require you to either come to campus for the exam, or get a local proctor.

    In all cases, students often find online classes harder to complete, because you need to be more self-motivated.


    For those who've taken and/or taught online classes, what's the format and etc. been like for you?
  39. Stefanie

    Stefanie Well-Known Member

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    I'm taking Elementary Russian 101 strictly on the web through my community college and some weeks there are plenty of assignments and other weeks we only have one per day. And the class itself seems really easy for me perhaps because I have also studied Polish for four years now. The platform used is Blackboard, and I was already familiar with Blackboard when I was an undergrad. But I'd never taken any actual quizzes on it until now, but that's also because all of my undergrad classes were "traditional," in-person classes. I have no trouble finding motivation for this class as I have always loved studying languages and partly because I am taking this class for fun so there isn't as much pressure as if I was actually persuing a degree (in my personal experience).
  40. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    I've done both and it's usually this:

    There are assignments due every week, usually on a regular schedule. Assignments are usually done independently, then posted and critiqued by your peers in the class, sometimes in draft form with a chance of revision before grading and sometimes not. Students often think that online classes are very flexible, and they are--in terms of what time you do your work. But IME, online classes often involve more assignments than traditional classes and due dates are rigid.

    There is usually some kind of class discussion on a class discussion board much like FSU, which, along with grading comments, is where a facilitator can really set herself apart. Most facilitators do not and simply post some questions from the text or have the discussion focus on homework assignments. Every now and then, though, you get a facilitator who puts some thought into discussion topics and then discussion is usually lively and interesting and sort of like FSU for a class. Usually, though, class discussion is very clearly a "I posted because I had to" sort of thing, much like the "I required discussion because I had to" on the part of the facilitator.

    Almost anything you do in class can be done online--term papers, group projects, even lab work. My husband took public speaking online--he recorded himself doing speeches and uploaded the videos.

    Facilitators can make a huge difference in the quality of the class, but many schools hire facilitators who are also facilitating at a dozen other schools, and so quality and access can be really erratic and is often almost nonexistent. On top of this, it's ever-so-easy to procrastinate and dodge an online class. For these reasons, you have to be committed to do well online.

    We just started something new for next term--all students who want to take online classes must take a test that measures their technical proficiencies and their reading comprehension. I am doing an online class next term and I will be interested in seeing if this helps. Reading comprehension is a huge one; people who aren't visual-verbal learners usually don't do at all well in online classes.