close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Has anyone received an online degree?

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by ghstface38, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. ghstface38

    ghstface38 Five-O

    Messages:
    796
    Likes Received:
    51
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    Area around Memphis, TN
    So I've got approximately 48 semester hours of school. I worked full time and went to school full time. Now that I'm a Police Officer I see how important a degree is and I'm wanting to pursue finishing mine.

    I feel an accredited online degree program might be a good fit for me. I'm looking for input from people who have gone through online classes/ degree programs.

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. matt86

    matt86 Oink Oink

    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    I'm also interested to hear an answer... it'd be nice to do mine online since I work graveyards
     

  3. Gangrel

    Gangrel

    Messages:
    1,865
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    I was just looking at American Military University online...

    Says they're accredited (which you have to be careful about with online stuff)

    They have some decent degrees
     
  4. GearGuru

    GearGuru

    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Location:
    Metro Atlanta GA
    Take a look at FBI National Academy academic partners, www.fbinaa.org They have screened several universities, all online and partnered with them. Just saying they have been looked at in depth by cops. I can also say personally that Troy University in AL. has an affordable and solid school. All of the FBINAA and Troy are regionally accredited and REAL schools. Good luck on finishing your degree.
     
  5. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    Messages:
    18,143
    Likes Received:
    24
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas, near the bison.
    There are a lot of public higher education institutions that have an online presence, some more than others. Distance education and such like is a good thing.
     
  6. ghstface38

    ghstface38 Five-O

    Messages:
    796
    Likes Received:
    51
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    Area around Memphis, TN
    Here is the problem I run into:

    I worked for the Memphis PD for 3 years as a Police Service Technician. The job is a civilian, non-sworn, position in which you work traffic crashes, direct traffic and assist the dept. in any traffic related manner. While working full time the MPD pays for your college and you are required to go full time. MPD DID require 54 semester hours to be an Officer.

    The dept. was so focused on having us get to 54 hours that they failed to enroll us in the correct classes. I would venture to say that 70% of my hours are Law Enforcement classes. i.e. Intro to criminal justice, policing in america, etc.... Which is all fine and dandy unless you're trying to go to a University and continue your college career.

    This is why I'm having issues figuring out how to go about re-starting my education. I never handled it myself so I'm going through the college admissions "how-to" a little late.
     
  7. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    56
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
  8. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Messages:
    20,144
    Likes Received:
    4,909
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    I got my PHD in pissing people off online.

    Previously I only had a Bachelors in Annoyance.

    :supergrin:
     
  9. shootindave

    shootindave

    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    Be sure to ask the one you go with how many hours they will give you for completing a Police Academy.

    I recently talked to Grantham University.... seemed like good people, easy set-up.

    Dave
     
  10. ghstface38

    ghstface38 Five-O

    Messages:
    796
    Likes Received:
    51
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    Area around Memphis, TN
    Thanks everyone, I appreciate the responses.
     
  11. Glock30 Guy

    Glock30 Guy XD40

    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Location:
    SC
    Wife got her MBA from Univ of Phoenix, online. It cost her $30,000. Now that she has it many prospective employers look at it as a joke degree since it was 90% online. The work was hard and many long hours but most people still look at it as a joke. If you can go to a traditional school, I would. The school name on the degree is very important.
     
  12. uhlawpup

    uhlawpup Gentle Soul

    Messages:
    5,744
    Likes Received:
    2,234
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Houston
    Sorry to hear about your wife's experience, Glock30. My wife's experience was just the opposite.

    After working for years with an ADN, she got her BSN from the University of Phoenix, and it was recognized enough to allow her to enroll and get her MSN from Regis University, a top-notch school that is internationally recognized. She now makes a lot more money than this humble government employee makes.

    On line degrees are not easy to get if you get them from a real school, but they are oh so worth it.
     
  13. HomeLandPatriot

    HomeLandPatriot

    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    I too would suggest looking into a brick and mortar school that officers online completion of a traditional degree field. Think about it as if you were 18 graduating high school, what colleges would you apply to if you were going to go to a 4 year institution. Then contact those schools and see if you qualify to receive an online degree.

    I agree with the poster above, the name on the degree means as much if not more than the degree itself in most cases.

    You also have to remember, with your previous education, almost all online degree schools like ECPI and the like explicitly outline in their commercials that most, if any, of your credits will NOT transfer with you. If you have a good number of credits already, starting over is just crazy.
     
  14. blueiron

    blueiron

    Messages:
    11,150
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    After taking some online grad coursework, I now studiously avoid online classes like the bubonic plague. A lot of coursework can be interpretive and some professors are very subjective when it comes to grading in those classes. Some do not return emails, even when formatted the may they specify. Some professors are outright lazy and defer you to grad students.

    I had much better luck in hybrid classes where the prof. has assigned office hours in which I could go ask questions, confer, and submit assigned a hard copy of the work early.

    If you ever get screwed over by a 'bad' server, a misplaced paper, a forgetful secretary/grad assistant/etc.; you will understand what I mean.

    University of Phoenix? Look up Apollo Group + fraudulent practices online and see what others have to say. Ask yourself why a for profit "university" has the money to name the brand new stadium that the NFL Arizona Cardinals play in. If you do not complete their program, their "credits" do not transfer to many other universities.
     
  15. spdski

    spdski NRA Life Member CLM

    Messages:
    4,306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Make sure you do it through a an actual brick and mortar university that also has a presence online. I have a friend who got a degree online from Montana State. Real school, legit degree, and it has served her well.
     
  16. HomeLandPatriot

    HomeLandPatriot

    Messages:
    410
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    These are some very valid concerns. I have fallen victim to bad professors, lazy grad students, bad servers and the like. ONe of the biggest upsides to a regular university is the review board, and the fact that you will always have a means to protest grades and actions taken by professors. I had to do this a couple times, sometimes drastic changes were made by the board that improved my grades when a professor just showed neglect in their actions.

    The bad server problem has been ultimately rendered a useless argument though in recent years. With the invention of "blackboard" and "portal" programs that most all universities use these days, everything is backed up, return receipts are issued on emails and correspondences with others are cataloged. If you actually did the work or sent the email, you have a record of it. As many of my former class mates found out the hard way, a crashing computer or a failure in the internet right when you clicked submit isn't an excuse anymore. Professors can log onto their version of the class website, see when (or if) you did the work, and make a decision. If you waited till 11:59 on the night due, and your computer crashes, that's on you.

    Ultimately, these are all arguments against purely online schools like phoenix and strayer. Find a big name school, doesn't have to be a big school or a "good" school. You just want one that when someone asks where you got your degree, they know where it is, or have heard of it.
     
  17. FiremanMike

    FiremanMike Way too busy

    Messages:
    4,207
    Likes Received:
    750
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Location:
    The interwebs
    I am in the process of going back to school to complete a bachelors degree, I plan on going on into either medical school or PA school, so I have had to look at an entirely different angle of online classes. Here's the thing. If you want to get a bachelors as a pre-requisite for post-graduate work, you need to be very careful with what online program you chose. You need to find one that is regionally accredited in your area, not one that is nationally accredited. The cheapest program out there by far is Columbia Southern University, completely and totally online undergraduate for $200/hour. Unfortunately, it's a nationally accredited program and not regionally accredited, and after speaking to two PA schools and not even bother checking with medical schools, I've realized that a degree from Columbia Southern would be a waste of time and money for me.

    What I'm doing now is starting at the local community college which is regionally accredited and has several classes that are entirely online. Not only that, but they have a good chunk of the high level science courses are offered in a "hybrid" format, meaning you do the classroom work online, then come in once a week or every two weeks to do lab work. This particular community college has partnered up with a nearby 4 year college, so that I can get my 4 year bachelors, mostly online, at a regionally accredited college.

    Look at what you want to do, and call around.. Online degrees are a great way for those of us with jobs and families to get college in, but they certainly aren't the end all be all.
     
  18. fla2760

    fla2760

    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    445
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    I earned my AA going to classes at the College of Staten Island. When I was hired by NYPD I put college on the back burner. I went on to get the BA while still on the job via Empire State College. Empire is part of the SUNY network. They were very flexible in scheduling and also offer an extension program that requires no classroom attendance through the Center for Distance Learning. It does require a great deal of writing. Empire State College will often give you credit for portions of your police academy training. When I was pursuing my BA there was no Internet so all communication was done via snail mail and phone conferences with the instructors. Today it would be more convenient with the net. Whichever school you choose be certain they are accredited.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  19. TexasFats

    TexasFats NRA, TSRA, SAF

    Messages:
    1,002
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Let me give you the professor's take on this. First of all, not every course can be taught online. I submit that science courses with labs cannot be taught online. The lab work is not really about seeing the innards of the frog or the chemicals in the flask change color. It is about giving students some insight on the skills needed to do that lab work, including the manual skills that are involved.

    Second, online courses are not for everybody. For someone who is a self-starter and won't need a lot of hand-holding and guidance with the material, then they can be worthwhile. However, the student who will need a lot of help or is easily kept off of the computer by family duties will probably not thrive in the online environment. Remember, that the distractions of being at home with the kids may be worse than the distractions that a 19-year old faces in a traditional college environment. Also, for many people, courses that are heavy on math may be much more challenging to complete on line, and typing up all of the equations and calculations can be a PITA.

    As for accreditation, make sure that the school is accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. There are about nine of these regional associations, IIRC, and they all work under contract with the US Dept. of Education. Accreditation by some state agency for private schools or by some association of non-traditional schools is meaningless if the regional accreditation is missing. Accrediation by one of the regional agencies will mean that the credits may be transferrable to other schools. Without that, you won't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting transfer credit. Secondary accredition by professional associations is always desirable, but, won't mean a thing if the regional accreditating agency hasn't given approval to the program. Where I teach, we are accredited by SACS, and our busines programs are accredited by IACBE, as an additional accreditation, on top of SACS. For LE use, check to see if the state agency that oversees certification of LE officers accredits college programs for any purpose. If so, check them out. Where I teach, our Teacher Education programs are also accredited by the Texas Education Agency; otherwise, our teacher graduates could not be state certified. Check to see if anything similar applies to some LE positions.

    Finally, most of the studies that I have read on online college courses indicate that they usually don't provide as good of a learning experience as traditional delivery methods, but that they are better than nothing.

    If you have any questions regarding a school, copy their list of accreditations, and PM me. I'll do my best to help you sort it out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  20. k9medic

    k9medic

    Messages:
    1,605
    Likes Received:
    425
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2000
    Location:
    at an LZ near you
    I'm doing an online degree at the University of Florida. I can tell you without a doubt that it is MUCH harder than my first degree ever was.

    Getting a BSN at the University of Phoenix is much different than getting a business degree there since as a nurse you are already licensed in a profession rather than looking for a new one.