The “Degree-Mill” MPA Is Finally (Almost) In Our Past
When online college-level degree programs first started to gain steam in the early 2000s, it was largely dominated by for-profit schools. Certainly a few brands just popped into your head. You know the ones — those “degree mill” or “diploma mill” organizations who did not always uphold the highest ethical standards and had big marketing budgets. The same brands that ultimately resulted in a widely-held perception that perhaps online learning wasn’t as valuable or as credible as traditional learning.
Today, and thanks to a 2010 crack down via key legislation protecting prospective students from degree and diploma mills, there has now been a major shift in the manner that college education is both recruited for and delivered in the United States. In fact, the changes have been so positive that most major respected degree-granting institutions now offer online programs including many of the most prestigious institutions.
The Ultimate Flexibility:
Many programs are also asynchronous. This means that you are not required to be online at any given time. As long as you turn in your assignments when they’re due, it really doesn’t matter when you do them. This provides for the ultimate level of flexibility for the public service professional. This means if late at night is where school work fits or if it’s a thirty minute lunch break, those with the initiative to continue tailor their leverage to their goals can do so.
For the additional flexibility that online learning provides specially with the asynchronous component, the trade-off is that programs of this nature will be more writing intensive. It wouldn’t make sense to offer frequent multiple choice testing when students can have any number of browsers open, devices, present, people present, and even the book to corresponding course. Multiple choice testing may be appropriate in some math related courses as the answers will not be readily available without working out problems in a series of steps, however this is not the standard in asynchronous online education which offers the maximum flexibility. This means students will demonstrate their level of comprehension in the written format. Being a super star writer is not required, however being prepared and organized and on task will ensure a high level of success without being overwhelmed.
Online Learning has become the new norm as our society has become more tech savvy. Our phones, tablets, computers, and sometimes even our cars and watches can provide opportunities to learn. The public sector professional now has any number of avenues to gather the information they need at the drop of a dime, an also to record their thoughts quickly when a few precious minutes present themselves throughout their day. Talk to text software which is built into most devices is a great example. Many online students simply talk through the content of their assignments, and edit them at a more convenient time.
Public service professionals looking to take their careers to another level no longer have and excuse to linger in procrastination. Online degrees such as the Masters of Public Administration can be attained from highly reputable institutions in a format which offers the ultimate level of flexibility. There is an edge to be gained for advancement for all who wish to hold themselves accountable for their future in the public sector, is this you?