Friday, June 01, 2007

Scissor me, Xerxes!

With that strangely inapropos exclamation, I’m proud to announce that my graduate studies are now 30% complete. Three courses down with 7 to go. By this time next year I’ll be finished, hopefully with my current 4.0 GPA intact.

My impressions of the quality of my University of Phoenix education so far? Well, it’s no Ivy League school, that’s for sure. The first two courses were beyond bird; however, the last one did involve some real effort, which was nice for a change. That said, I wouldn’t characterize UOP as a degree mill, as some traditional brick & mortar college snobs have done. I’d rank UOP on par with a third tier graduate school. The education may not be the best around, but it’s not entirely worthless either.

My biggest complaint about UOP is that it does a terrible job of screening its graduate applicants. In fact, the screening is virtually non-existent; basically, if you possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, you’re in. Of course, one may presume that someone with such educational credentials would have a solid understanding of the rudimentary principles of written English, but they would be so very, very wrong. My classmates, with whom I must collaborate on team assignments to satisfy 30% to 40% of my grade, are mostly functionally illiterate. In a typical online class of 15 students, I’d say 3 have a good command of English and 5 are able to string together a sentence on occasion. Of the remaining 7, I’d be hard pressed to say English is their first language. Their work is usually meandering and convoluted, not to mention riddled with grammatical errors that even a 6 year old with dyslexia could spot at a glance.

I wish the school would encourage their instructors to be more proactive in reining in students who insist on dumbing down the whole class. Seriously, when you see someone in a Business Systems class go on a bizarre, unprovoked rant about the evils of Walmart, replete with poetry about sunshine and pretty flowers, you know you have a problem on your hands. Although such incidents have been rare, they are disconcerting nonetheless. I hope my instructors going forward will bitch-slap these ‘tards.


At 6/08/2007 1:02 PM, Anonymous Eddie said...

That was hilarious, very well written. I work with people that seem to be products of a poor government education and can't outsmart a fifth grader. Anyone who can't spell, even after spell check, needs to be smacked down.

At 6/08/2007 3:35 PM, Blogger Ace said...

Oh, the lack of spell-checking is the worst. The instructor for my last class even had to remind everyone explicitly to use spell-checking functions before submitting any written communications. Can you imagine? Students in a graduate course being reminded to spell properly? Egads!

Here's the worst part about all of this: despite their atrocious writing skills, some of these people are being rewarded with the same A's that I'm receiving. I have access to the university's databases, so I was able to confirm this with a quick query.

At 6/12/2007 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is funny, but let's be honest about this. That school is in business to make money no matter what. If that means trading grades for tuition, they will do so. I am not saying my state sponsored government University didn't, at times, hand out A's like blow jobs in a whore house, it certainly did. What I am saying is that they didn't have as an intense need to suceed financially and could afford to flunk students out of the school if necessary, and it definitely was necessary.

I sometimes wonder to myself what would happen if there was no public secondary education. I would think we would all be better off, having private Universities having to compete with each other for students. Some would be very respectable not-for-profits that already exist today. However, others would be for-profits that would likely adapt to the schedules of its students, such as University of Phoenix.

In order for an institution to suceed in my eyes, it must have a good reputation with employers and have a high number of students who get placed into respectable, well paying jobs. Forget the BS that higher education broadens the mind. If it doesn't broaden my wallet, I am not having it. I came from a working class family that struggled and don't have time to philosohpize about philosophy, nor do I have the money to waste to do so.

At 6/12/2007 10:58 AM, Anonymous Eddie said...

I forgot to add my name to the comments above. Here it is. Or, for your average U of P grad student, herr itt iz.

At 6/12/2007 1:06 PM, Blogger Ace said...

Same goes for Cuba North, where private universities are practically non-existent. About 10 years ago, at one school commonly nicknamed Last Chance U., there was a prof who fought for the right to flunk 90% of his Poli Sci 101 class for gross ignorance and imcompetence. He didn't succeed. Some of his students are probably in senior government posts now.

True, the for-profit part definitely factors into the grade inflation equation, probably more so than with non-profit institutions. The University is working on acquiring more accreditations for its various programs, but it's a delicate balancing act. Add too many new entrance and graduation requirements and you'll naturally dampen growth prospects. In the meantime, I'll take the free degree, thank you.

At 6/13/2007 10:47 AM, Anonymous Eddie said...

True, Canada may not be the most prosperous or capitalist nation on earth, but I must say from my trips to Ontario that Canada has some of the most beautiful women that I have ever seen. Then again, I don't live in LA where such scenes are probably common.

At 8/09/2007 2:22 PM, Anonymous Eddie said...

Ace, I am becoming very disappointed in your lack of blogging productivity.

At 8/09/2007 6:13 PM, Blogger Ace said...

As you should be. I had a couple of weeks off after my last course ended in mid-July and I really should have posted a few things during my downtime.

I started my 5th course a couple of days ago, so I'll probably be mostly silent for another 6 weeks.

At 9/05/2007 10:42 PM, Blogger azgopbabeval said...

I would assume than most people in your class fall under the catgory of not knowing the difference between too, to and two; our & are; then and than; your and you're...right?

Sorry to hear most of your classmates are tard, but I agree with Eddie, GET TO BLOGGING, Mister!


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