Thursday, May 01, 2008

It's over...finally.

After 16 1/2 months of studying, I now have a Masters degree in Information Systems, with a 4.0 GPA and a 98.44% cumulative average to boot. On paper that means I'm a genius. In reality, I'm just another victim of the grade inflation trend that seems to be running rampant across academia these days. I'm certainly no expert in my field, though I did learn a few things that might be useful going forward.

Overall, my impressions of grad school, particularly The University of Phoenix, are mixed. To echo sentiments I expressed in earlier posts, UOP certainly is not a degree mill, as a substantial amount of work does have to be completed in order to satisfy their program requirements; however, the quality of the education is sorely lacking. One of my biggest quality gripes is about the school's insistence on the use of learning teams. Here's a sample of what I typically wrote to my instructors in the course evaluations about these so-called "teams":
1. What are the most important concepts you have learned from the Learning Team experience?

None. I can state confidently that the learning teams are a complete and utter waste of time. In most courses my classmates have been either too preoccupied or too clueless to add anything of value to my educational experience; in fact, I think the learning teams detracted from my educational experience at UOP. Perhaps if the university had stricter entrance requirements the learning teams would be comprised of higher quality students, which would enrich the learning environment. As the entrance requirements are virtually non-existent, I believe many of my classmates are grossly unqualified for graduate level studies and may in fact be mentally handicapped.

2. How will you use this learning to improve both personally and professionally?

I didn’t learn anything from the Learning Team experience that would serve to improve my personal or professional aptitudes, other than to hone my ability to make honest assessments of my teammates’ strengths and weaknesses, and not to trust otherwise intelligent people to follow basic instructions or own up to their responsibilities.
My other big complaint is that there seemed to be a wide variance in quality between courses, though this may not be a UOP-specific problem. Some instructors were quite engaging, while others pretty much phoned it in. Some course materials were well-researched, timely and salient, while others were dated, redundant and irrelevant to the topics at hand. Most of my classmates didn't seem to notice or care about quality variances. For the amount of money they were paying, roughly $2000 per course either out-of-pocket or through loans, you'd think they would pay more attention to such things. Thankfully, I didn't pay one red cent for this program, otherwise I'd be livid.

Now that my attention can be turned to other things, my first priority is to find a new job. I currently commute 70 miles round-trip daily and it's killing me. The only reason I endured wasting nearly 2 hours of my life each day was to get the free education. This has got to stop. Plus, there are credible rumors swirling about that several good people with whom I work closely will be jumping ship real soon. Without them, my job gets a whole lot harder. I'd rather take my chances elsewhere than work with the people who are likely to replace them.

3 Comments:

At 5/08/2008 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus, man, get a haircut.

 
At 3/29/2009 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did you not do studies in Harvard?

 
At 3/29/2009 3:53 PM, Blogger Ace said...

For a few reasons:
1) I would never be accepted to Harvard. (This reason trumps all the others.) My undergraduate transcript is mediocre and my professional experience is somewhat limited. Besides, I can't think of three people to write a good academic letter of recommendation on my behalf, let alone one.
2) Harvard, like most top tier schools, is obscenely expensive. I'm not about to take out a decent sized mortgage for an intangible asset.
3) I'd have to stop working to attend the school. The loss of income represents an additional significant opportunity cost.
4) Harvard has no professional programs for which I would even qualify.
5) I think I'm a poor candidate for a top tier school that emphasizes leadership. I've figured out that management and leadership in general is not my forte.

 

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