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Posted: 1/28/2010 7:33:23 AM EDT
What are the differences?  

I'm currently in the Military and deployed to AFG.  I've still got a little while before I can get out of the Army, so I'm looking to get some school knocked out when I get back stateside.  Only problem is, I'm infantry, and my unit does not allow time off in garrison to attend an actual college.  

A lot of the online colleges are DETC nationally accredited, and I keep hearing that these degrees are pretty worthless in the real world, whereas a regionally accredited college is more legit.  Last thing I wanna do is waste my GI bill (and my time) getting a degree that won't get me a job when I get out.

Sooo.. are nationally accredited online colleges worthless in relation to a regionally accredited college?
Link Posted: 1/28/2010 9:14:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/28/2010 9:37:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2010 9:45:06 AM EDT by Infantry26]
Bump....I go to a legit university, none of it is online, 17,000+ students, it is regionally accredited, I've never thought twice about it.

ETA: I feel your pain with the school thing.  I was enrolled in a class in Korea that was 6-7pm and after the deadline to drop the class I got put on a detail (QRF for riot control....there were no riots, its just that a platoon or so had to be on it at all times just incase).  We weren't allowed to go more than 100m from the barracks at any given time for 3 weeks. 24 hours a day.  This meant that I couldn't go to class basically for the whole time between the midterm and and final exam.
Me and the other two guys that were going all got boned.  The teacher gave us Cs as a final grade but I'm 99% sure I deserved an F.  I could only attempt to answer maybe 2 or 3 questiones of 25 or 30.  I didn't even have a way to find out what was on the final exam.....

There was never a riot  The detail was supposed to mean you didn't do anything for the 3 weeks (that part kind of awesome) but our 1SGT still made us do runs every day for 5 miles...We were all hoping so hard that there would be a riot when we were 3 miles away from our barracks and he'd get fired for making us leave our station ( a LtCol made it very clear that we'd be FUCKED if it took us more than 5 minutes to have everyone in ACUs+ riot gear and in the truck on the way to the problem area..)
Link Posted: 1/28/2010 9:46:32 AM EDT
From what I've heard if it isn't regionally accredited, it's not worth the paper it's printed on.

Seems backwards that national accreditation isn't acceptable but regional is.

Don't know what your home of record or duty station is, but in the case of my state there are online programs offered by the state university system, each school (I think there's 16 total) offers a couple of courses completely online to provide 30-40 degree programs, and they weigh just the same as a brick-and-mortar location.  

Military stationed in my state can go for in-state prices, although it shouldn't matter if you go to the Ed. Center they should pay for it while you're on active duty.

My wife's going online full-time to get her B.S. right now in Clinical Lab. Science, the workload's kicking her in the teeth due to 50 hrs a week at work, but she's managing.

Link Posted: 1/28/2010 10:12:44 AM EDT

Nationally accredited colleges are those like Phoenix University Online, ITT Tech, etc...  The online universities you see ads for on TV. They are good for some things, mainly if you already have a job with a good company but never finished college and need that degree to get the promotion to middle management. Just don't plan on getting accepted into a good MBA program in order to have the corner office with a BA from one of these institutions. Also most of the courses from these are not transferable to other schools.  

Regionally accredited colleges are your typical 4 year program (public or private) such a USC, UT, Notre Dame, etc... Some of these do have online degrees or at least classes that are looked at no different than if you sat in the classroom on the main campus. The courses are usually fully transferable to other schools.

Check with the University of Maryland. They used to have an online or satellite campus for military personnel that would transfer nationally.
Link Posted: 1/28/2010 10:15:34 AM EDT
Many people who work in Human Resources will tell you that a resume featuring a degree from a place like the University of Phoenix gets relegated immediately to the trash can.

There are options at legitimate colleges for those in your position.  My suggestion is that you seek one out.
Link Posted: 1/28/2010 11:09:47 AM EDT
From an employer perspective, why would I weigh a degree that may have been accomplished by someone who never got out of their underwear and went to campus the same as one for a person who had to get up and actually go to class to interact with the professor?  The requirements at all universities for getting a grade are becoming so lax that I at LEAST want to see someone who balanced personal life and class attendance (much like they will have to balance personal life and showing up to the job I give them).

That being said, a lot of employers look at experience and skills and just need the degree there as a requirement.  If you want a career that is definitely within the field of your degree, you need regional accredidation.  If you just need the degree to boost your resume for doing something related to experience/proven skills you already have, then you may be able to go with national-only, but it is still risky.
Link Posted: 1/28/2010 8:42:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BushBoar:
Many people who work in Human Resources will tell you that a resume featuring a degree from a place like the University of Phoenix gets relegated immediately to the trash can.

There are options at legitimate colleges for those in your position.  My suggestion is that you seek one out.

And you know how weell loved HR people are around here.

Regional Accreditation is the standard normal run of the mill accreditation for generic purposes.

there are several varieties of National Accreditation.  some are for Professional  purposes.  ABET - The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology  accredits on the national level.  So a school can have it's regional accreditation, WASC Western Assocation for Schools and Colleges, and then have it's Engineering School accredited by ABET. there are National accreditation bodies for MBA schools, Med Schools, etc.

Now there are also some bogus Accreditation organizations that are claimed for accreditation by shady institutions.  When I was in Staffing.  I would look at the resume to see if the work history was close, then I'd check the Bachelor's degree for school.  The Master's was then looked at.  If either was a school I had heard of I looked up the school, and then if necessary where /who it was accredited by.  If the degree or accreditaion was fishy, I went on to better candidates.

If the Bachelors was good and the Masters was from a better recognized non-traditional source, if it was one I was familiar with, I would forward it to the hiring manager, it's up to them to make the decision, they know exactly what they are looking for.  I would do the winnowing out.  Phoenix, National U, Readlands all can be very good programs.  Depends on who the local Profs are.
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