Did I Really Go to Harvard if I Got My Degree Taking Online Classes? (Atlantic)

THEODORE R. JOHNSON

SEP 16 2013, 7:32 AM ET

At extension schools, it’s possible to get an Ivy-League education at a fraction of the price, with lower admissions standards.

“About two years ago, my classmates and I gathered in Harvard Yard to receive our graduate degrees alongside more than 7,000 of the university’s newest alumni. As the procession made its way to our designated seating area, an onlooker eyed our banner with a puzzled look and asked the guy in front of me, ‘What in the world is the Extension School?'”

My classmate’s reply: ‘It’s the back door into Harvard.’ Ouch.”

This is not the last time admission standards—or the value of a degree—are going to be an issue if MOOCs are heavily relied on by  the world of extension education; but degrees obtained through extension schools should also be discussed—whether MOOCs are part of those programs or not.

About Ryan C. Fowler

Ryan is a curricular fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C. He also teaches at Franklin and Marshall College and Lancaster Theological Seminary.
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