[techbooks] REVIEW: "How to Get a College Degree Via the Internet", Sam Atie
- BKHGCDVI.RVW 990129
"How to Get a College Degree Via the Internet", Sam Atieh, 1998,
%A Sam Atieh saleh@...
%C 3875 Atherton Road, Rocklin, CA 95765-3716
%I Prima Publishing
%O U$16.00/C$21.95 800-632-8676 916-632-4400 fax: 916-632-1232
%P 204 p.
%T "How to Get a College Degree Via the Internet"
At about the same time that the author was looking for a distance
education program I was running a rather oddball experiment in
networked training delivery and researching what else was going on, so
I was interested to see something of how the field had developed.
This book didn't tell me much.
Part one is a set of very short, and mostly uninformative chapters.
Chapter one presents the selling points of online education: the high
direct costs of traditional education, plus the indirect costs that
are a barrier to those already engaged in life and not willing to go
back to student life. Distance education has existed, and the
Internet exists, we are told by chapter two, and when the two meet,
something wonderful happens. (There are a lot of generalities, and
not many details.) A very short set of questions and answers,
intended to determine whether you are the type of person to benefit
from online education, is given in chapter three. Not only is the
material exceedingly terse, but I began to become more distinctly
aware of a factor that had been bothering me from the beginning of the
book: there was a lot of emphasis on the career, and specifically
monetary, value of an online diploma or degree, but almost no
discussion of educational values themselves. Chapter four runs
through a generic "what you need to get online" list, but very
quickly. Most of the entries are sketchy in the extreme, a few are
helpful, and some, like the recommendation to have a dress code for
"class" and a few of the software suggestions, are a little odd. The
advice for choosing a school, in chapter five, is fairly standard, but
some pointers for non-US students checking on American accreditation
is helpful. Common application and prerequisite requirements are
listed, along with useful contacts for standard placement exams, are
mentioned in chapter six. Chapter seven briefly looks at financial
matters such as scholarships and student loans. A few informational
URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) are given in chapter eight. The
advice to foreign students, in chapter nine, is basically a high speed
rehash of the prior content. Chapter ten discusses online job
searching, mostly in terms of creating your own Web page and using
generic search engines.
Part two has most of the value of the book. Seventy two institutions
are listed, with some brief description, online and postal contact
information, and a short description of offerings. Most are from the
US, one from the UK, and two from Canada. I know that the listings
are not complete, since two universities, at least one community
college, a special educational agency, and a theological school run
distance programs in my locale alone, none of which are listed. I had
a quick look at the doctoral programs, and noted two that might merit
further research, so the pickings, as the author tacitly admits in the
introduction, are a little thin.
For those interested in getting a degree via the net, the inexpensive
price would probably repay the buyer in terms or time saved finding
programs. (On the other hand, a decent Web search might do the same
thing, and possibly with more complete coverage.) The initial
chapters may help some, but don't contain enough information for most
of those interested in getting online and researching the
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKHGCDVI.RVW 990129
rslade@... rslade@... robertslade@... p1@...
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