Until the summer of 2006, I was associated with a university that maintained a large online division in northern Virginia plus 43 satellite campuses in 10 southeastern states and the District of Columbia. For approximately five years I taught online business courses in both synchronous and asynchronous modes. To my chagrin, I discovered the following:
• The school has no library to speak of. It maintains various "Learning Resource Centers" that collectively have 32,000 volumes or about one book for each of the estimated 27,000 students who study online or at satellite campuses. Indiana University's library system, in contrast, has 8.2 million volumes.
• Quizzes and exams are online, open-book and unproctored. Online students routinely enlist others to help them at exam time.
• There is pressure on instructors to give high grades and thereby maintain full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment numbers. Instructors who have the temerity to give grades of C or D are called in for counseling.
• Online students never meet or have direct contact with instructors.
• The school has an open-enrollment policy which encourages unqualified or marginally qualified applicants. Nevertheless, approximately one-third of all students graduate with "honors."
Incredibly, this institution is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) . However, its business education program is not accredited by AACSB, and its MPA program is not accredited by NASPAA. Attend this or other online colleges at your peril.
Author's URL: http://garyjacobsen.synthasite.com