Sunday, October 09, 2016


I'm reading job applications, and got one from someone who did their degree at a for-profit, on-line outfit.  Everything about the application makes me feel like this person got ripped off and doesn't really realize it.

I feel sort of sickened.  We're searching for a, let's say, Mathematical Forester, and this person is getting a degree in Underwater Basketweaving.  But somehow they think they're a good applicant for our job.

It's not like I can sit down with them and tell them they got ripped off.  And if I could, what good would it do them at this point?  None that I can think of.

Yeah, so I'm feeling a bit sick at this point.


  1. I've had the opportunity to be on a panel with a president and another person high up in the for-profit educational universe (alumni/reunion thing; I'd written about what it's like to be contingent in a class bio update, and got invited). They talked a lot about access for people who wouldn't otherwise be able to pursue degrees, and I think they genuinely believed what they were saying, but I suspect that only shows that there's a lot of self-deception as well as deception of students going on.

  2. Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh.

  3. What CC said. The admin here is all about how wonderful these online universities are, and how we ought to imitate their models. Meanwhile, here among the faculty, we are exchanging incredulous looks.

  4. Having spent 18 years at a (non-profit) non-residential program that was, as I left, transforming itself into a mostly online one, I understand: the hardest thing to do in these contexts is help students understand the system in the rest of the academic world. And because they are usually older,they are separated from experience in "regular" universities. It's really really hard.