The Last Two Years

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” — Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

I’ve been blogging at eLearners.com for two years now, but that part of my relationship with them comes to an end this month, so I thought since I’ll be directing people here again for the first time in a while that I ought to summarize what I’ve been up to.  As things stood then, I was working for Marymount University as their Director of E-Learning Services, and had just decided to attend A.T. Still University’s Doctor of Health Education program.  Neither of these things is still the case.

In the professional sphere, I left Marymount in mid-2009 and have been writing articles and doing research for Education Dynamics ever since, including work on their GradSchools.com and eLearners.com web sites, among others.  I’ve also continued as an adjunct instructor at LCO Ojibwe Community College, designing and teaching online courses in IT for them.

On the student side of things, I was in the A.T. Still University program for three terms, and while it was okay, I found myself being pushed away from my real research interests in favor of studying psychological motivations of students, which isn’t really my cup of tea.  I realize that doctoral students must be flexible, but at the same time one must be able to sustain interest in one’s topic, and I knew that would be a big problem.

So I withdrew.  But I didn’t abandon my interest in earning a doctorate.  I applied to a PhD program in Economics through Swiss Managment Center, but I once again found out that the topic wasn’t sustainably interesting to me, and I withdrew from that as well, this time much more quickly.

But third time’s the charm, they say.  I realized that I would need to find a solid program in Higher Education Administration or International Higher Education, and applied to such programs at Liberty University, the University of Memphis, and Northeastern University.  I heard back from Liberty University a while back, which was encouraging, but its religious nature makes it the least desirably of the three for me.  A little less than a week ago, however, I heard back positively from the University of Memphis, and am much more excited about the prospect of doing doctoral work with them.

There’s still Northeastern, which has advised me I may not hear back about starting in Summer 2011 until January, which is inconvenient since Memphis expects me to start in the Spring term that begins with the new year.  I like Northeastern, but sooner begun means sooner done, and I’m also considering that the program at Memphis is sponsored by an actual School of Education, whereas the one at Northeastern is through their continuing education school.  It’s true that Memphis is ranked 141st, which isn’t up there with Vanderbilt or Columbia, but it seems like a solid middle of the road public research university that no one will question, which would meet my needs fine, I think.

I realize this meandering path makes me seem indecisive, but I’ve been trying not to be afraid to cut things off when I realize they’re not ideal for me.  Still, it’s my intention that this time around is the last, and when I enroll this time I expect it to be at the school where I complete this task.

So that’s where I’ve been for the last two years.  I expect to blog here from time to time, and as ever, I look forward to any comments!

3 Comments

  1. Ping from Why a PhD? (Or Any Other Degree):

    […] way, Steve, did I read something about you and the University of Memphis? Yes, you did. Here's an executive summary. -=Steve=- BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College MA in Educational Tech, George […]

  2. Comment by Donald:

    Hi Steve,

    It’s me Donald from elearners. Why did elearners get rid of the blogs? They were the only reason I ever visited the website. Are the new blogs going to be fair and objective, or are they just going to be fluff pieces for online colleges?

    Also, it’s interesting you should mention Northeastern. This week there has been a Northeastern sociology grad who has been getting a lot of press after graduating with $200,000 in debt and starting a website for people to donate money to her.

    • Comment by Steve:

      Hi Donald. My understanding is that the student blogs weren’t cost effective. It was a business decision, and it’s hard to fault them for it. As for the posts that will continue in those blogs they retain, I think they’ll be as good as ever. Of course, it’s easy to say that when I expect to write a few of them. :-)

      As for Northeastern, I’m not sure about their Bachelor’s degree programs, but if they’re pricey enough and when room and board are added on, I can see four years tallying up to two hundred grand. It’s hard to feel all that sympathetic, though, since the girl should have known what she was doing when she signed for all those loans. Their online EdD program is different, it’s about twenty-five grand altogether, which is very good by American standards.

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