I have survived my first semester at the University of Phoenix, and I have never been anywhere near the school. I am one of many getting their degree at the comfort of home; or work ;-) . I do most of my schooling from work. My home life is often very hectic and usually on the verge of anarchy with a 4 year old who I swear reminds me of a drunken midget and the drooly 9 month old. But in their defense they have to be the best boys a family could ask for. If I do school from the home pc I have to put in ear plugs and lock myself in a closet.
On line schooling is very different from the traditional type of classrooms. It is no for everyone, if you have self discipline issues and can not navigate a simple message board you will be disappointed. Before I enrolled with the Phoenix I did some research. And all the negative feed back came from people that could not work the site properly or professors that claimed the school was not part of the learning process. After being in the class for one semester I can see how both of these complaints are true. The site was a little challenging at first but with all the tutorials they gave I was soon an expert. And the complaint about how online schools have taken away the educational aspect of getting a degree; all I have to say is this:
-College is no longer about education. It is all about getting a little scrap of paper that says you ran the gauntlet of 5 years and survived. And proof you will now be in debt for the next 3 years to the government or a privately own bank-
My wife goes to Kean University in NJ and will be graduating soon. She will have a degree that says she can teach. But it also says we now have to start paying back about $18, 000 smackers she got in loans from our Uncle Sam. And if I ever met her uncle I am going to kick him in the balls! I have asked year in and year out for some money but this tight wad never gives me any. If it were not for private bank loans I would still be paying right out of my own pocket.
To go into why I feel college is no longer about educating the masses all anyone has to do is enroll to any university and watch the price tags roll.
Lets start in the book store. The book store at my wife's school is now run by Barnes and Noble. A huge bookstore known throughout the country. The prices are outrageous and half of the time the teacher does not even use the damn thing. Then when you try to return the book, still shrink rapped, the bookstore will only give you a small part of the money back because the book that was printed last year is now out of date. Hmmmmm I know the smell of bullshit when I am standing in it. To try and offset the cost we have used places like Ebay and Amazon to buy and sell our books. But half of the time it would have been easier to just take the raping at the school store and move on. I have grown custom to chewing on dog shit and smiling. I makes me feel better.
Now lets move on to the biggest gripe, Tuition. They keep jacking up the price and claiming all kinds of reasons but what you get back keeps dropping. Parking is always a nightmare, the gym is never open, the never ending construction ( here is you tuition hard at work) is a constant eye sore, the people that work in the admin areas have to be the ruddiest and lest knowledgeable people on campus, the classrooms are soo packed if one person farts the oxygen drops to deadly levels. And let us not forget the teachers that never seem to care about much of anything, other than the fact students are parking in 'their' spots. Now correct me if I am wrong but the students pay all the fees and the teachers get paid to be there. So, should not the students get the preferred spots? It would be like paying for the best seats at a sporting event and a parking pass and still having to park in the worst place ever; while the guy who sells you your $10 beer in a plastic cup 3oz less the size of the beer bottle gets the best parking spot.
I am waiting for the day the students just get fed up one day and loot the damn place. Every time you turn around there are new fees and different things to pay for.
From my experience in college I do not feel college is a exclusive place to go to get an education. Education should not be a means to an end, it should be a life long journey. The corporations have turned the institute of learning into a never ending pit of revenue. How many students go to school because they want to learn? I would say 90% of students would say they want to get a degree to get a better job to make more money. I love capitalism! And there is nothing wrong with this, but do not piss down my neck and have the audacity to tell me its raining. It is all about the money these days. We have instilled the notion of, Degree = Better Job. But even a degree does not guarantee this. Sometimes experience speaks volumes where as a degree only speaks in chapters.
I currently work in the field I am trying to get my degree in. I can not move from the position I am in until I have a degree. Now, this does not mean I am not qualified to do the job it just means I do not have a degree. This to me makes no sense, I have had 2 different bosses that took the position that I could have had if I had the degree. And lets just say, I got stuck training them. I feel angry, aggravated and annoyed at this; but it is my own fault. I am 30 years old and I could have had a doctrine in anything by now, if I had stayed in school back in 1995. I left for personal reasons *cough-got girlfriend knocked up-cough* and I regret dropping out. I have few regrets in life:
Marring my ex, dropping out of college, making that mistake my wife reminds me of every April, and......well I am sure there are a few others but these are the biggest.
Now, I am not saying going to college is a bad idea. Hell I am all for going, but do not go into college thinking it is anything other than what it is. It is a business, and its business is making money.....BIG MONEY. And if you do not believe me just look at where the money comes from and where it goes. Kean University used to be Kean College, but they wanted government money soooooo they went and asked for government funding and now, 3 new building later, never ending construction and new regulation bullshit later, we now have Kean University.
I encourage everyone to go to college and try to beat them at there own game. Do not end up 30 and wishing you played the game. I am playing catch up, and doing very well with it I might add. I will have my 2 year degree by next March, if everything goes well. And I will have my bachelors by 2009/2010 if I stick with it. I am going to put my all into it, to see that I get to walk cap and gown in Phoenix, Arizona! I do not feel I will come away knowing anything more than I know now but I will walk away a college graduate. My wife's degree with mean more because her schooling has given her the tools she will need to be a teacher. In fields such as teaching, medicine and finance schooling is a must. But for my needs a BA in BS will open doors that I can see but not go through.
Education is very important, the more one knows about his or her world the better. Our country can not seem to move out of its past because our leaders seem to have missed American History 101. How can anyone move into a promising future when they have not learned the lessons of their ancestors?